, September 1, 1962
in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football coach and former player, who
played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s. He was the captain of
the Netherlands national team that was victorious at Euro 88 and was
also a member of the squad for the 1990 World Cup.
He was named the
European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player
of the Year in 1987 and 1989. He was a versatile player, playing in
numerous positions during his career. He last managed the Los
Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer after taking over from Frank
Yallop in November 2007.
Gullit epitomised the ethos of Total Football as he
was naturally adept in several positions. His foremost attribute was
his athleticism, as he used his strength and speed to great effect,
as well as being excellent in the air. Yet unusually for a man of
his stature Gullit also possessed outstanding natural balance and
poise that gave a graceful style to his game. Gullit thus combined
technical ability with physical presence to become an iconic figure
in world football.
prompted George Best to comment in 1990, "Ruud Gullit is a great
player by any standards. He has all the skills. He's not afraid to
do things with the ball. And he looks as if he's enjoying every
second of it. By my reckoning that's what makes him an even better
player than Maradona. Both have the key quality you will find in all
the best players: balance. You just can't knock them off the ball.
It was the same with Pelé, Beckenbauer and Cruijff."