Nick Name: The Black Tulip
Birthday: September 1, 1962
Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Males
Sun Sign: Virgo
Born in: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Famous as: Former Dutch Footballer
Height: 6'3" (190 cm), 6'3" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Cristina Pensa, Estelle Cruyff, Yvonne de Vries
father: George Gullit
mother: Ria Dil
children: Charmayne Gullit, Felicity Gullit, Joëlle Gullit, Maxim Gullit, Quincy Gullit, Sheyenne Gullit
City: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ruud Gullit is a former Dutch footballer and football manager often regarded among the best players to have ever played the game. Gullit started off as a street footballer in Amsterdam but before long he found a club and by the time he was 16 he had made his debut for HFC Haarlem in the Dutch first division. Subsequently, Gullit moved to Dutch club Feyenoord and following his evolution into an attacking midfielder, who could also play as forward, he moved to PSV Eindhoven. He became one of the world’s best attacking players during his time at PSV Eindhoven but his best years as a footballer were reserved for Italian club AC Milan. He helped Milan win a number of trophies in domestic as well as European championships as the team evolved into one of the greatest football teams in history. Gullit also played for English club Chelsea and managed them as well, before managing a string of clubs with little success.
Childhood & Early Life
Ruud Gullit was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on 1 September 1962 to a migrant from Surinam, George Gullit and his mistress Ria Dil. His father was a teacher of economics at a school in their locality while his mother was employed as the custodian at a museum.
He showed a keenness for football right from his early childhood and used to be an enthusiastic street footballer. In 1970, he joined the football team Meerboys and two years later he started playing for Amsterdam Old West.
In 1975 he joined the football club AFC DWS and his exploits for the club brought him to the attention of the famous Dutch youth system and before long he became a part of the youth system. At DWS, he played with some of the future greats of Dutch football.
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He became a professional when he joined the Dutch first division club HFC Haarlem in 1978 and made his first appearance at the age of 16. During his three year stint at the club, Gullit helped them to earn promotion back to the Dutch first division after the club was relegated and the following season he was instrumental in taking the club to European competitions when HFC Haarlem finished fourth in the league. He scored 32 goals in 91 appearances for the club. Three years after joining HFC Haarlem, he was for the Dutch national team.
After becoming a major player for HFC Haarlem, Gullit joined Dutch club Feyenoord in 1982 and in his very second season at the club he helped them win the league as well as the league cup. He spent three years at the club and scored 30 goals in 85 appearances in the league. It was at Feyenoord that Gullit started playing as an attacking midfielder.
In 1985, he joined Dutch club PSV Eindhoven and helped the club win two back to back titles, while he himself plundered 46 league goals in those two seasons. He emerged as one of the Europe’s best attacking midfielders during this period and after his two year stint, he moved to Italian club AC Milan, who paid a world record fee for his services.
His 6 year stint at AC Milan started in 1987 and over the next six seasons he became one of the best footballers in the world as he helped the club win three league titles and three European Cup trophies. He scored 35 league goals for the club. A year after joining AC Milan, Gullit led the Dutch national team to the European Championships crown. He scored the first goal in the 2-0 win in the final against the Soviet Union.
The 1990 World Cup in Italy was a disappointment for Gullit as he struggled with a persistent knee injury and could not stop the Netherlands from being knocked out in the second round by Germany. Two years later, the Dutch were one of the fancied teams for the tournament but they were knocked out in the semi finals by Denmark, who went on to win the tournament. Gullit scored 17 goals in 66 appearances for the national team.
After leaving AC Milan, Gullit moved to Italian club Sampdoria in 1993 and at the end of the season, he helped the club win the Italian Cup. At the end of that season, he rejoined AC Milan for a short while but eventually went back to Sampdoria and finished another season there.
In 1995, he joined the English club Chelsea and spent three years with the club. A year after joining the club he was given the role of player-manager and he helped Chelsea win the FA Cup. However, disagreements with the club management led to his sacking as manager and shortly thereafter he left the club.
Following his departure from Chelsea in 1998, Gullit became the manager of Newcastle United but his time at the club was marred by spats and clashes with star players. He completed the first season but after losing the derby to Sunderland in his second season, Gullit was sacked by the club.
He became the manager of his old club Feyenoord in 2004 but left after a season following disappointing results. Three years later he became the manager of Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy in the United States but he quit after 9 months following below par results and regular clashes with the players at the club.
Gullit was appointed the manager of Russian Premier League side FC Terek Grozny on 18 January 2011 but was relieved of his duties on 14 June 2011 after he could only muster 3 wins for the club.
Awards & Achievements
Ruud Gullit won the Ballon D’Or in 1987.
He was been included in ‘FIFA 100’, a list of the 100 greatest living footballers compiled by Brazilian legend Pele.
He is the only captain to have lifted a major trophy for the Dutch national team, when he captained the side to the 1988 European Championships title.
Personal Life & Legacy
Gullit got married to Yvonne de Vries in 1984 but the marriage ended seven years later. The couple has two children - Charmayne and Felicity.
In 1994, Gullit married Italian model Cristina Pensa, but this married too lasted six years. They have two children- Quincy and Sheyenne.
He married Estelle Cruyff in 2000 but the marriage ended three years later. The couple has two children - Maxim and Joelle.