45 Facts About Ruud Gullit


Ruud Gullit is a Dutch footballer and subsequent manager who played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s as a defender, midfielder or forward.


Ruud Gullit captained the Netherlands national team that was victorious at UEFA Euro 1988 and was a member of the squad for the 1990 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1992.


Ruud Gullit won the Ballon d'Or in 1987 and was named the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.


Ruud Gullit was born as Rudi Dil in Amsterdam to George Ruud Gullit, a Surinamese who arrived in the Netherlands with Herman Rijkaard, and Dutch mistress Ria Dil from the Jordaan district of Amsterdam.


The Ruud Gullit family lived in one split level room on the top floor of a small apartment building.


Ruud Gullit's father worked as an economics teacher at a local school, his mother as a custodian at the Rijksmuseum.


Ruud Gullit developed his football skills in the confines of the Rozendwarsstraat, and street football was instrumental in his formative years.


At the age of ten Ruud Gullit moved from the Jordaan to Amsterdam Old West where he played street football alongside Frank Rijkaard.


Ruud Gullit joined the DWS club after his move, and came to the attention of the Dutch youth team, where he played alongside future full international teammates, Erwin Koeman, Ronald Koeman and Wim Kieft.


September 22nd 1978, Ruud Gullit signed professionally for HFC Haarlem under coach and former West Bromwich Albion player Barry Hughes.


Ruud Gullit made 91 league appearances for Haarlem, scoring 32 goals.


Ruud Gullit made his debut for the club at just 16 years and 11 months old, on August 19th 1979, becoming at the time the youngest player in the history of the Eredivisie.


Ruud Gullit was named as the best player in the Eerste Divisie that season.


The young Ruud Gullit was considered as a signing by English sides Arsenal and Ipswich Town, but managers Terry Neill and Bobby Robson turned him down.


Ruud Gullit therefore moved to Feyenoord in 1982, where he made 85 league appearances, scoring 31 goals.


Ruud Gullit was named Dutch Footballer of the Year in recognition of his contribution to Feyenoord's success.


At Feyenoord, Ruud Gullit occupied an increasingly advanced role in midfield, having played predominantly as a sweeper at Haarlem.


Ruud Gullit was again named Footballer of the Year in 1986 as he helped PSV capture the Eredivisie crown, a feat they repeated the following year.


Ruud Gullit was singled out for criticism by large numbers of Feyenoord supporters, who branded him a "wolf" and accused him of moving to Eindhoven for money.


When he first arrived at Milan, Ruud Gullit initially struggled to fit in as he spoke no Italian and was new to living in a foreign country.


Bayern Munich was in talks with Ruud Gullit, but fell through.


In July 1995, Ruud Gullit signed for Chelsea on a free transfer.


Ruud Gullit was one of the key players for the Netherlands as he helped his country win Euro 1988 under coach Rinus Michels.


Ruud Gullit was thus the first Dutch captain to hold aloft international silverware.


Ruud Gullit appeared in strong form against Scotland in their opening game of the tournament as he supplied Dennis Bergkamp with a goal.


Ruud Gullit refused to play for the national team following this but later changed his mind and agreed to return, facing Scotland in May 1994.


Shortly before the 1994 World Cup, Ruud Gullit walked out of the pre-tournament training camp and would never play international football again.


Yet, unusually for a man of his stature, Ruud Gullit was an elegant player, who possessed outstanding natural balance, poise, technical ability, and dribbling skills, which gave a graceful style to his game.


Ruud Gullit was noted for his intelligence, creativity, vision, and spatial abilities, qualities that helped him score goals early in his career and enabled him to play in a deeper role as a playmaker late in his days, where he was known for creating chances for teammates.


Ruud Gullit thus combined physical presence with flair, mental acuity, formidable technique and natural touch, to become an iconic figure in world football.


Beyond his qualities as a footballer, Ruud Gullit stood for his leadership and tenacity.


Ruud Gullit made a promising start to his managerial career when in the first season as a player-manager he guided Chelsea to an FA Cup triumph in 1997, the club's first major trophy in 26 years.


Ruud Gullit was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, a man he had helped to bring to the club, and who went on to guide them to UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and Football League Cup glory over the remainder of the season.


Ruud Gullit even refused to assign Lee a squad number, giving Lee's number 7 to new signing Kieron Dyer.


On 8 November 2007, Ruud Gullit became head coach for the LA Galaxy, signing a three-year contract.


Ruud Gullit arrived as replacement for Frank Yallop who was let go after Galaxy failed to make the 2007 MLS playoffs despite having record signing David Beckham on the roster.


On 11 August 2008, Ruud Gullit resigned as coach of the Galaxy, citing personal reasons.


On 18 January 2011, Russian Premier League side Terek Grozny announced that Ruud Gullit has agreed to sign a year-and-a-half contract and become the head coach for the Chechen side.


In 1988, Ruud Gullit scored a No 3 hit with the anti-apartheid song "South Africa" in the Dutch Top 40 together with the reggae band Revelation Time.


Ruud Gullit notably joined his band in front of 3000 people at concerts in Italy, in the year he made a move to AC Milan.


Ruud Gullit used the term to describe teams, such as Portugal at that tournament, who played attractive football with an emphasis on the defense-penetrating pass-and-move game.


When Ruud Gullit was named winner of the Ballon d'Or in 1987, he dedicated the award to the then imprisoned Nelson Mandela.


Ruud Gullit appeared as a pundit for ITV during the 2006 World Cup and works as an analyst for Champions League games on Sky Sports and Al Jazeera Sports.


Ruud Gullit subsequently worked as an analyst for Al Jazeera Sports during Euro 2012 alongside Glenn Hoddle and Terry Venables, among others.


Ruud Gullit embarked on the Heineken Champions League Trophy Tour in 2016 where he visited Vietnam with Carles Puyol.