Ruud Gullit

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Ruud Gullit
17th May 1997
0Full Name Ruud Gullit
0Date of Birth 16 September 1962
0Place of Birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
0Position Defender
0Chelsea career 1995-1998
0Debut 19 August 1995
0Games (goals) 64 (7)
0Other clubs HFC Haarlem
PSV Eindhoven
AC Milan
0Chelsea career 1996-1998
0Win percentage 49%
0Honours FA Cup: '97
0Other clubs Newcastle United
LA Galaxy

Ruud Gullit (born as Ruud Dil, September 1, 1962 in Amsterdam) is a former Dutch international who played for Chelsea from 1995 to 1998, also becoming manager a year into his Chelsea career. He was the captain of the Netherlands national team that was victorious at Euro '88 and was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1987. He was a versatile player, appearing in various positions during his distinguished playing career at high profile clubs including Feyernoord, PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan. Signed for Chelsea by Glenn Hoddle at the age of 32, Gullit was a glamorous signing for the club; his capture set the tone for a new era at Stamford Bridge, with high quality foreign players such as Gianfranco Zola, Roberto Di Matteo, Frank Leboeuf and Gianluca Vialli also arriving in SW6 in the couple of seasons that followed. Gullit was initially employed as a sweeper by Hoddle, but eventually settled into a midfield role, and was voted Chelsea's Player of the Year in 1996. As manager he led Chelsea to the club's first major trophy in 26 years; the FA Cup in 1997. In doing so he been the first non-UK manager to win a major trophy in England, having also become the first black manager in England's top flight.


Before Chelsea

In 1978, he signed professionally for HFC Haarlem under coach and former West Bromwich Albion player Barry Hughes. Gullit made 91 league appearances for Haarlem, scoring 32 goals. Gullit made his debut for the club at just 16 years old, becoming at the time the youngest player in the history of the Eredivisie. Following impressive perfomances for Haarlem, in 1982 he moved to Feyenoord, for a fee of £300,000, where he made 85 league appearances, scoring 31 goals. At Feyenoord Gullit found himself playing alongside Dutch legend Johan Cruijff, while the assistant manager was Wim van Hanegem, and they were to leave a lasting impression. Gullit's first season saw Feyenoord miss out on major honours, but the following year they completed the league and cup double. Gullit was named Dutch Footballer of the Year in recognition of his contribution to Feyenoord's success. At Feyenoord Gullit occupied an increasingly advanced role in midfield, having played predominantly as a sweeper at Haarlem.

In 1985, he moved to PSV Eindhoven for ƒ1.2 million (£400,000), and scored 46 goals in 68 league appearances for the team. 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. It was at PSV that Gullit really began to establish himself as a world class footballer and his distinctive, dreadlocked appearance made certain that he would catch the eye of Europe's biggest clubs.

In 1987 Gullit signed for AC Milan, for the then record fee of ƒ18 million (£6 million) as a replacement for Ray Wilkins. Among his teammates at that club were compatriots Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard, along with Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi. Gullit's first season at Milan saw the club win Serie A for the first time in 9 years, under coach Arrigo Sacchi. He was initially used on the right of an attacking trio alongside Van Basten and Pietro Virdis, but after an injury to Van Basten it was changed to a front two. The following season Milan built on their domestic success by adding the European Cup to their list of honours. Their scintillating 5-0 demolition of Real Madrid in the semi-final second leg came at a cost, as Gullit suffered an injury and required surgery to be fit in time for the final. That performance was followed by a 4-0 victory over Steaua Bucharest in the 1989 final with Gullit scoring two crucial goals. The following year Milan retained the trophy as they defeated Benfica in the 1990 final. While Milan continued their domestic dominance by winning Serie A in both 1991-92 (a season in which they went undefeated) and 1992-93, Gullit's position was an increasingly peripheral one. This was demonstrated by his omission from the 1993 UEFA Champions League Final as under the UEFA rules clubs were only allowed to field 3 foreigners. Gullit's exploits with first PSV and then Milan helped him win the European Footballer of the Year award in 1987. However, serious injuries sustained to the ligaments of his right knee limited Gullit's playing time and he managed just 2 domestic games in the 1989-90 season.

Chelsea career

In July 1995, Gullit signed for Chelsea on a free transfer. Initially played as sweeper by manager Glenn Hoddle with limited success, Gullit was moved to his more familiar role in midfield, where he scored six goals. The signing of Gullit, alongside the likes of Mark Hughes and Dan Petrescu, propelled Chelsea to the semi-final of the FA Cup but their league form was disappointing.

Gullit's earliest difficulty in England was adapting to the abilities of some of his Chelsea team-mates, "I would take a difficult ball, control it, make space and play a good ball in front of the right back, except that he didn’t want that pass. Eventually Glenn said to me, ‘Ruud, it would be better if you do these things in midfield’"[1]. However, his adjustment was rapid and he ended the season by being named runner-up to Eric Cantona as Footballer of the Year. Gullit has since often stated in interviews that it was in London he enjoyed his career the most and felt happiest.

In the summer of 1996, when Glenn Hoddle left Chelsea to become manager of the England national team, Gullit was appointed as a player-manager. The Dutchman made a promising start to his managerial career when in his first season as player-manager he guided Chelsea to an FA Cup triumph; the club's first major trophy in 26 years. In doing so, Gullit became the first non-British manager to win the FA Cup. The club also finished a credible sixth place in the Premiership. In February the following season, with Chelsea in second place in the Premiership and involved in the latter stages of the League Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, he was sacked, reportedly due to a disagreement with the club's board over a new contract, [2] though Gullit himself disputed this. [3] He was replaced by Gianluca Vialli, a man he had helped to bring to the club.

After Chelsea

In 1998 Gullit was named manager of Newcastle United, and his managerial career again was on track, with an FA Cup final appearance in his first year. In the following season, fans began to turn against him after a poor run of results, and a well-publicised contretemps with star striker and local hero Alan Shearer and captain Rob Lee did not put him in a favourable light. In a match between Newcastle and local rivals Sunderland following the latter's return to the Premiership, Gullit, to the surprise of many, left the usually starting strikers Alan Shearer and Duncan Ferguson on the bench. Newcastle lost 2-1, although it was 1-1 when Shearer came on. Gullit resigned three days later, after only five games into the 1999-2000 season[4].

Before the start of the 2004/2005 season, he took charge of Feyenoord, quitting at the end of that season. Feyenoord had finished a disappointing 4th in the Eredivisie, behind Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and AZ. On November 8, 2007, Ruud Gullit became head coach for the Los Angeles Galaxy, signing a 3-year contract. On August 11, 2008, Gullit resigned as coach from the Los Angeles Galaxy citing personal reasons. This followed a seven-game winless streak.

Subsequently Gullit has worked as a TV pundit for Sky Sports and Al-Jazeera sport.



Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1995–96 31 3 7 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 40 6
1996–97 12 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 14 1
1997–98 6 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
Total 49 4 8 3 7 0 0 0 0 0 64 7


P W D L GF GA GD Win %
League 63 30 14 19 110 82 +28 47%
FA Cup 8 6 1 1 22 10 +12 75%
Lg Cup 7 2 2 3 12 12 0 28%
Europe 4 3 0 1 13 4 +9 75%
Other 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0%
Total 83 41 18 24 158 109 +38 49%


# Season Date Year Competition Opponent Score Result Venue
11995-9616 September1995Premier LeagueSouthampton2-03-0Stamford Bridge
21995-9617 January1996FA CupNewcastle United2-22-2St. James's Park
31995-9624 February1996Premier LeagueSouthampton3-23-2The Dell
41995-9609 March1996FA CupWimbledon2-22-2Stamford Bridge
51995-9612 March1996Premier LeagueManchester City1-01-1Stamford Bridge
61995-9631 March1996FA CupManchester United1-01-2Villa Park
71996-9726 October1996Premier LeagueTottenham Hotspur1-03-1Stamford Bridge

Career honours


HFC Haarlem
PSV Eindhoven
AC Milan 1st spell
AC Milan 2nd spell

===International Playing Honours


Robertson (1905–06) • Lewis (1906–07) • Calderhead (1907–33) • Knighton (1933–39) • Birrell (1939–52)
Drake (1952–61) • Docherty (1961–67) • Sexton (1967–74) • Suart (1974–75) • McCreadie (1975–77) • Shellito (1977–78)
Blanchflower (1978–79) • Hurst (1979–81) • Neal (1981–85) • Hollins (1985–88) • Campbell (1988–91)
Porterfield (1991–93) • Webb (1993) • Hoddle (1993–96) • Gullit (1996–98) • Vialli (1998–00) • Ranieri (2000–04)
Mourinho (2004–07) • Grant (2007–08) • Scolari (2008–09) • Hiddink (2009) • Ancelotti (2009–11)
Villas-Boas (2011–12) • Di Matteo (2012) • Benítez (2012–13) • Mourinho (2013–15) • Hiddink (2015–16)
Conte (2016–)
Player of the Year
1967: Bonetti | 1968: Cooke | 1969: Webb | 1970: Hollins | 1971: Hollins | 1972: Webb | 1973: Osgood | 1974: Locke
1975: Cooke | 1976: Wilkins | 1977: Wilkins | 1978: Droy | 1979: Langley | 1980: Walker | 1981: Borota | 1982: Fillery
1983: Jones | 1984: Nevin | 1985: Speedie | 1986: Niedzwiecki | 1987: Nevin | 1988: Dorigo | 1989: Roberts
1990: Monkou | 1991: Townsend | 1992: Elliott | 1993: Sinclair | 1994: Clarke | 1995: Johnsen | 1996: Gullit
1997: Hughes | 1998: Wise | 1999: Zola | 2000: Wise | 2001: Terry | 2002: Cudicini | 2003: Zola | 2004: Lampard
2005: Lampard | 2006: Terry | 2007: Essien | 2008: J.Cole | 2009: Lampard | 2010: Drogba | 2011: Čech | 2012: Mata
2013: Mata | 2014: Hazard
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