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Iconic footballer, Ruud is one of the greatest footballers ever to have grace the pitch. Ruud has played and managed at the highest level, and is now a regular pundit for SKY Sports.
Ruud Gullit started his football career in 1979, signing for the professional club Haarlem, making his league debut at the age of sixteen. He went on to score 14 goals with the club and was voted the Second Division's player of the year in his first season. From there Ruud made his International debut, on his 19th birthday, in a 2-1 defeat against Switzerland in Zurich. In April 1982 Ruud signed for Feyenoord for £300,000.He scored his first goal for Holland in a 2-1 victory against the Republic of Ireland.
In 1983 Feyenoord signed Johan Cruyff and he inspired the team to the League and Cup double. Gullit played in his first European competition - the UEFA Cup for Feyenoord.
In 1985 Ruud moved on to PSV Eindhoven who went on to win the League Championships. Ruud played as a sweeper that season and scored 24 goals. In 1986 PSV again won the League title but Ruud was unhappy at the club and asked for a transfer. He was sold to AC Milan for a record £6.5 million.
In 1987/1988 AC Milan won their first League Championship in a decade and the European Cup with Ruud scoring 2 of the four goals. He also inspired the Dutch national side to victory in the European Championships. In the final, Gullit scored one of the goals in the 2-0 victory over the USSR. He was voted World and European Footballer of the Year dedicating this to jailed African Congress leader Nelson Mandela.
In 1993/94 Gullit moved to Sampdoria, and then AC Milan re-signed him. However, before the World Cup in the USA, Gullit walked out of the Dutch training camp and retired from international football. He then rejoined Sampdoria and led them to victory in the Italian Cup final.
In 1995/96 Ruud was available on a free transfer and moved to the Premiership signing with Chelsea. He finished up runner-up to Eric Cantona for Player of the Year. At the end of the season manager Glen Hoddle left the club to become England Coach. Gullit took over as Chelsea boss. In 1996/97 Gullit was the first foreign manager to lead an English club to the FA Cup Final, where Chelsea beat Middlesbrough convincingly by 2-0.
Ruud left Chelsea in 1998 and went on to become the Manager at Newcastle United in 1999. However, Ruud did not stay long at Newcastle and moved to coach for the Holland National side, before taking over at Feyenoord in the summer of 2004.
Ruud is still very active in football and will be the manager of the Rest of the World Team for Sports Aid, and will be working for ITV during their 2006 World Cup coverage. Ruud has also worked for SKY for their Champions League coverage.
Player: Haarlem (79-82), Feyenoord 82-85), PSV Eindhoven (85-87), AC Milan (87-93, 94), Sampdoria (93-94, 94-95), Chelsea (95-96)
Manager – Chelsea (96-98), Newcastle (99), Feynoord
International: 66caps, 16 goals
Dutch League Championship and Dutch FA Cup 1984 (Feyenoord).
Dutch League Championships 1986 & 1987 Dutch Footballers of the Year 1986 & 1987 (PSV Eindhoven)
European Footballer of the year, 1987
World Club Championship and European Super Cup Winner 1990 (AC Milan)
European Cups 1989 & 1990 (AC Milan)
Italian League Championships 1988, 1992 & 1993 (AC Milan)
Italian FA Cup 1994 (Sampdoria)
English FA Cup, 1997 (Chelsea, as manager)
European Championship 1988