PSV Eindhoven coach Guus Hiddink has been put in charge of Australia's bid to reach the 2006 World Cup finals.
Hiddink, 58, will take control of the Socceroos immediately but also continue to work with Dutch champions PSV.
He replaces Frank Farina, who stood down as Australia's coach in June after a poor Confederations Cup campaign.
"It gives us every chance of success in the World Cup play-offs and, hopefully, the finals," said Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy.
"He has had a distinguished career and his record speaks for itself. We could not have hoped for a more qualified, internationally-recognised coach to lead us on the road to Germany," added Lowy.
His first opportunity to work with the Australian side will be next month when the team assembles for a training camp in Holland.
Australia cancelled a friendly with Colombia in London in August after the coach asked for the training camp instead.
The Dutchman will remain with the Australian side until after the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, should they qualify.
Hiddink became the most successful coach in the Dutch first division earlier this year when PSV won the league, giving him his fifth title. He also guided the side to the Dutch Cup and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Hiddink initially won four Dutch titles and the European Cup with PSV before he went on to guide Holland (1998) and South Korea (2002) to the semi-finals of the World Cup.
He also managed Real Madrid after leaving the Dutch job.
Australia's next matches are the home-and-away 2006 World Cup qualifiers against the Solomon Islands in September, the winners going on to play the fifth-placed South American team over two legs in November for a place in Germany.