Ruud GullitLegendary Netherlands Footballer
- Date of Birth
- September 1, 1962
- Place of Birth
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
- Playing Position
- Midfielder / Forward
Ruud Gullit OON (Dutch pronunciation: born Rudi Dil, 1 September 1962) is a Dutch football manager and former footballer who played professionally in the 1980s and 1990s as a midfielder or forward. 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 and Euro 92.
At club level, in 1987 he moved from PSV Eindhoven to Milan for a world record transfer fee. Easily recognizable with his distinctive dreadlocks, he was part of the famed Dutch trio at Milan which included Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. Gullit won three Serie A titles and two European Cups with Milan.
Gullit was named the Ballon d’Or in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989. Normally an attacking midifielder, he was a versatile player, playing in numerous positions during his career. In 2004 he was named one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA’s 100th anniversary celebration. Gullit was working to promote the Belgian-Dutch 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bid.
Gullit was born Rudi Dil in Amsterdam to George Gullit, a Suriname migrant, and Ria Dil, his buitenvrouw, from the Jordaan district of Amsterdam. The family lived in one split level room on the top floor of a small apartment building. Gullit’s father worked as an economics teacher at a local school, his mother as a custodian at the Rijksmuseum.
Gullit developed his football skills in the confines of the Rozendwarsstraat, and street football was instrumental in his formative years. Gullit’s first team were the Meerboys, where he joined as a junior in 1970. However, at the age of 10 Gullit moved from the Jordaan to Amsterdam Old West where he played street football alongside Frank Rijkaard. Gullit joined the DWS club after his move, and came to the attention of the Dutch youth team, where he played alongside such future greats as Erwin Koeman, Ronald Koeman and Wim Kieft.
It was during his time at DWS that Gullit first took to using his father’s surname, rather than his registered surname, as he thought it sounded more like a football player. He retained his mother’s surname, officially, and continues to sign all contracts as Ruud Dil.