|Club career -
Silvio Berlusconi signed Gullit for
AC Milan in 1987,
paying the then record fee of ƒ17 million (ˆ7.7 million, £6million)
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. When he arrived at Milan,
initially struggled to settle as he spoke no Italian and was unused
to living in a foreign country. However, Gullit's first season at Milan saw the club win Scudetto 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.
with first PSV and then Milan helped him win the European Footballer
of the Year award in 1987 which he dedicated to Nelson Mandela.
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.
In 1990-91 Milan's pursuit of a third consecutive European Cup was cut short by
Olympique de Marseille at the semi-final stage. Having drawn the
first leg at the San Siro, Milan trailed to a Chris Waddle goal with
little time remaining when the floodlights went out. After a short
delay the lighting was restored, but Milan had returned to their
dressing room and refused to return to complete the game. UEFA
awarded Marseille a 3-0 victory and expelled Milan from all European
competitions for the following season.
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 UEFA Champions League Final
1993 final as under the UEFA rules clubs were only allowed to field