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Ruud Gullit
Gender Male
Ethnic Dutch
Job Dutch Footballer
Desc A star for AC Milan and the Netherlands in the late 1980s, Ruud Gullit became a cult Premier League icon when he joined Chelsea in 1995. The towering Dutch midfielder had an instant impact at Stamford Bridge, earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year and being crowned the club’s Player of the Year in his first season. He would later go on to manage the club, steering them to FA Cup glory in 1997


Org Dutch National Team
Club as Coach Chelsea FC
Club as Player AC Milan

2012 11 11 Retrieve

[Former AC Milan Gullit’s response when asked which German player he would select for the Dutch national team if he could choose one, in an interview with German newspaper ‘Bild am Sonntag’] Give us Mesut Özil right now! We need him. He’s technically perfect. He has total control of the ball and has great imagination. His pass-and-move style of play would be perfect for us

[The Dutchman believes that there are only three players in the world who should be classed in the superstar category: Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar] Marco Reus is an excellent player, but he’s not quite a superstar

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[Quotes on Marcel Desailly] A very strong defender and excellent in the air, which is something you need. He also had the kind of pace and power that would frighten attackers into making a mistake. Not necessarily a leader, but a very experienced defender. He would complement Baresi well

2016 09 09 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit tells about his relationship with the late Johan Cruyff] I had the privilege and the luck of having him in my life. I am very grateful because he looked after me. We also had plenty of arguments because he acknowledged my opinion-even if Johan always wanted to be right. He was like a genius kid of 12 who had to go to university because he was cleverer than the professors. He was thinking so many steps ahead that, for many people, it was almost difficult to follow. Johan Cruyff was unique

2016 10 27 Retrieve

[Quote on Frank Rijkaard] A good defensive midfield player with vision and strength. I played with him at club and international level for many years and he was one of the best. He controlled the midfield with his presence, strength and technique. He would help start attacks, but make sure the other team couldn’t get at the defence. Provided a great balance to any team he played in

2016 10 28 Retrieve

[In almost perfect contrast with Van Basten’s arrival, Gullit’s Milan entrance was soundtracked by a blaze of police sirens, escorting him through the city streets. Surrounded by frowning carabinieri, flashing cameras, chanting fans and a crowd of onlookers, he revelled in the attention. He also showed his spikey side. Try this for an opening gambit] They told me in Holland that there are three daily sports papers here and that they’re generally full of rubbish. Is that true?

[Later, the dreadlocked striker would explain that] I grew up free, I grew up in Amsterdam. Growing up free is great if you’re strong. Maybe I was helped a little by my star sign, Virgo. When I knew what road I was going to take, nobody could stop me. Am I stubborn? Maybe, but also strong and confident

2017 06 01 Retrieve

[How Ruud Gullit’s libero role at Chelsea rocked the Premier League] My skills come out better as a sweeper

[Chelsea finished in the bottom half that season and Gullit was restricted to 21 appearances in all competitions because of injury. After three months he was usually operating in midfield, primarily because his teammates simply couldn’t understand his approach] 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’

2017 10 20 Retrieve

[Legendary Netherlands midfielder Ruud Gullit on goalkeeper] A goalkeeper is a goalkeeper because he can’t play football

2019 06 16 Retrieve

[Dutch legend Ruud Gullit believes Frank Lampard possesses all the attributes to be a managerial success at former club Chelsea] He must not make the mistake to get friends there. He has to make sure he gets some people there who have experience in managing and coaching teams. (Lampard) has done nothing yet as a coach. Chelsea gave me this opportunity as well and we won a lot, so that (inexperience) has nothing to do with it. I think it’s important for Chelsea that they have someone in charge they can relate to. I hope also they can get the right people around him who can help him. That will be the best thing for him

2019 06 17 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit believes Manchester United will miss out on signing Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt due to lack of Champions League football] I don’t think it’ll be Manchester United, they don’t play in the Champions League. I think he wants to play in the Champions League, so that’s unfortunate for Manchester United.

[Gullit hopes the 19-year-old finds the right situation for himself this summer] It’s going to be difficult [for a lot of teams], a lot of them [big teams] might have UEFA [transfer] bans, so there’s a lot that’s going on still. It’s going to be difficult [for a lot of teams], a lot of them [big teams] might have UEFA [transfer] bans, so there’s a lot that’s going on still

2019 06 18 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit says Virgil van Dijk must be better for Netherlands if he is to win the Ballon d’Or] I think he did really, really well, especially with Liverpool. I think that he was the missing link for them. For the national team I still think he needs to be better than that. Not him only, but also Matthijs De Ligt because out of the last 14 games, 10 games we’ve been 1-0 down. If you have such a good defence you don’t need to concede these goals all the time

[The last defender to win it was former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro in 2006] It has to do with the whole team of course. It is something that he has to fix. Not he himself but the whole defence, with the whole team, in order to be that player. Of course, defenders have not been picked a lot. Baresi should have been picked but never was. So therefore it would be a huge boost for him if he gets picked

2019 09 14 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit is happy to see young players finally get a chance at Chelsea, saying the club has let too many good players leave in the past] I’m glad the young players finally get the chance. With players like Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, there have been too many good players leaving the club because they got the feeling their time would never come through at Chelsea

[Gullit believes club icon Lampard was the ideal choice to replace Maurizio Sarri in the close-season] Obviously the results aren’t great, but for me it’s most important that they show a clear philosophy with some good football. I’m so glad the youth finally gets the chance, even though it mostly happened because of the transfer ban. Now we should be patient. The players have the talent and with Lampard they have their ideal coach. He is a young manager, knows the club and already experienced everything they are feeling right now. It’s a good squad and I’m positively surprised about their level. They haven’t won many games yet, but that’s not important right now. It’s about young players discovering themselves and showing their capabilities to the crowd. Look at Ajax. See what they have done with a young team last season in the Champions League. It’s not a bad thing to have young players, as long as they are good enough and Chelsea has a great academy. I like the way they play football with Lampard. Now we should be patient and wait until they start winning matches. That’s a learning process

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit says Virgil van Dijk’s presence is the key reason Liverpool have surpassed Manchester City in the Premier League] In order to win, all the best teams have a good defence. At Barcelona, with Carles Puyol at the back, they had a good defence. If you don’t have that then you can attack all you like but you’re always conceding a lot of goals

Pep Guardiola bought four central defenders and they couldn’t do it. That was unlucky also with injuries but it is a stable factor to have defenders that can do the things that you need to do. A lot of teams don’t defend well. So, with Van Dijk, that was an issue that was done [solved]

Van Dijk was an example that I was right in Holland. If I say you have to learn how to defend people say, ‘You’re always with the defending’ and things like that. But that’s where it all started. Now they say you’re right, [you can have success] if you have a good defender, and the good thing is it was a Dutch defender

2020 02 17b Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit believes Guardiola will be seeking a change of scenery at the end of the 2019-20 campaign] I feel for Manchester City, for the fans, the players, the coaches, everything. It is horrible. But I know Pep and know he is anxious to win the Champions League again. I think he will be minded to go to Juventus because we all know they are desperate for him to go there. Whether it’s the right thing is another question but he wants to play in the Champions League - and that’s where Pep belongs

2020 02 18 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit says Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk is never going to win the Ballon d’Or despite pushing Lionel Messi close in 2019] The message of the Ballon d’Or was, he’s never going to win it again.

[Pressed on whether he feels Van Dijk should have won, the former AC Milan and Chelsea star said] Yeah, I think he should. But, you know, you can’t say Messi didn’t deserve it either. But if there was a possibility to make a stand for a defender, it was this year

[Arrigo] Sacchi already said that Van Dijk couldn’t win it because, otherwise, [Franco] Baresi should have won it already. If Baresi didn’t win it, why should he win it? That’s what he said. He didn’t say he didn’t deserve it, but he said they’re never going to give it to a defender. That’s what he said, and that’s a pity. That’s why I say, it almost looks like they say ‘Look, you’re never going to be a contender anymore for the Ballon d’Or’

2020 02 25 Retrieve

[Ruud Gullit makes Bayern favourites to beat Chelsea] I am no longer in close contact with Chelsea, I am now living in Amsterdam. But, of course, I follow the Blues and want them to win. Bayern are still a favourite - I said before the season that they can win the Champions League.

Bayern had problems this season, but also a lot of injuries. Now they have to overcome the first hurdle, but they have a good team and are still among my candidates for the title. It has to be said that there are no clear favourites this year with the exception of Liverpool. Almost all the top teams are weakening, whether it’s Barca, Real, Juventus or Manchester City

I think that [his departure] is possible. Pep is determined to win the Champions League, that’s his holy grail. After his time at Barca, he never got it. He was close, but for a number of reasons, he couldn’t. He is a very good coach. I like him because he left something behind at every club. He didn’t win the Champions League with Bayern, but he changed the team’s style of play so that they made an international impression. Pep has his own style and everyone loves his football, even at Manchester City

2020 05 27 Retrieve

[LA Galaxy’s Ruud Gullit experiment, which lasted just 19 matches before both parties determined that enough was enough] It was too much of a clash between my way of being used to working and the rules of the MLS