Ruud Gullit Speaker & Booking Information

Dutch Soccer Legend
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Ruud Gullit was born on September 1, 1962 in Amsterdam and is a Dutch football manager and former football superstar, 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 in November 2007.

Gullit is currently working to promote the Belgian-Dutch 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cup bid. In 1981, on his 19th birthday, Gullit made his international debut as a substitute for the Dutch national team against Switzerland, a game the Dutch lost 2–1. Gullit's early international career was marred by disappointment as the Dutch failed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup and Euro 84. The Dutch missed out in 1984 on goals scored as the Spanish trounced minnows Malta 12–1 in their final qualifying game, when they needed an 11 goal victory to qualify. There was further disappointment in 1986 when the Dutch missed out on qualification for the World Cup at the hands of neighbours Belgium in a play-off. Having lost 1–0 in Belgium, the Dutch appeared to be set for qualification in Rotterdam as they led 2–0 until Georges Grun put the Belgians through on away goals. However, Gullit was one of the key players for the Dutch team helping his country win the Euro 88 under coach Rinus Michels. Having lost their opening game of the tournament to the USSR the Dutch beat England and Republic of Ireland to reach the semi-finals. After defeating West Germany 2–1 in Hamburg the Dutch faced the Soviet Union in the final. Gullit opened the scoring with a well-placed header and Marco van Basten scored an incredible volley to cap a 2–0 win. Ruud Gullit was thus the first Dutch captain to hold aloft international silverware. The Dutch travelled to Italia 90 as one of the favourites, but the team failed to perform as expected. Gullit's knee injuries clearly hampered his play, and his only moment of brilliance was a superb dribble and shot against Ireland which helped the Netherlands qualify for the second round. There they met W Germany in one of the most exciting games of the tournament, though the game was marred by an altercation between Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voller. The Germans gained revenge for their defeat at Euro 88, by beating the Netherlands 2–1 and going on to win the tournament.

1992 saw the Dutch again among the favourites for silverware in Sweden at Euro 92. Gullit appeared in imperious form against Scotland in their opening game of the tournament as he supplied Dennis Bergkamp with an easy goal. But after drawing with Russia and beating Germany, the Dutch suffered a shock exit on penalties to Denmark, who ended up winning the championship's Henri Delaunay Trophy. In 1993 Gullit and Holland manager Dick Advocaat began what was to be a long running dispute which ultimately ended Gullit's international career. Advocaat's decision to play Gullit on the right-side of midfield, in a game against England at Wembley, rather than his usual central position upset Gullit and this was exacerbated by his substitution for Marc Overmars. Gullit refused to play for the national team following this but later changed his mind and agreed to return, facing Scotland in May 1994.

Shortly before the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Gullit walked out of pre-tournament training camp and would never play international football again. In 1988 Ruud Gullit scored a No.3 hit with the anti-apartheid song South Africa in the Dutch Top 40 together with the reggae band Revelation Time. Previously he had a modest hit in 1984 with the song Not the dancing kind. After his spell at Newcastle, Gullit spent several years working as a football commentator, having previously coined the term "sexy football" during his spell as a BBC pundit during Euro 96 which was at a time Gullit was still playing professionally for Chelsea. Gullit used the term to describe teams, such as Portugal at that tournament, who played attractive football with an emphasis on the defense-penetrating pass-and-move game. By 2006, Gullit had a talk show on Dutch TV, where he has interviewed, amongst others, Nelson Mandela. When Gullit was named winner of the Ballon d'Or in 1987, he dedicated the award to the then imprisoned Nelson Mandela. At the time, Gullit was signed to AC Milan and the Italians raised their eyebrows, "Nelson who?". Gullit tried to explain and they said, ‘Oh, a footballer with political beliefs’. Gullit has since in interviews told that he met Nelson Mandela after he was released and Mandela said, ‘Ruud, I have lots of friends now. When I was on the inside, you were one of the few’.

In 2007 Gullit recalled, "Four months ago I visited Robben Island and met three guys who were cell-mates of Nelson Mandela. They remembered my dedicating my award in 1987 to Mandela and they said they couldn’t believe what I had done, and were sure the football authorities would withdraw the award. That's what apartheid did to them, it made them believe injustice was a normal part of life." He also appeared as a pundit for ITV during the 2006 FIFA World Cup and works as an analyst for the UEFA Champions League games on Sky Sports and Al Jazeera Sports. Gullit currently works as a studio analyst for ESPN during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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NOPACTalent acts as a Celebrity Speakers Bureau and Athlete Booking agency for corporate functions, appearances, private events and speaking engagements. NOPACTalent does not claim or represent itself as Ruud Gullit’s speakers bureau, agent, manager or management company for Ruud Gullit or any celebrity on this website. NOPACTalent represents organizations seeking to hire motivational speakers, athletes, celebrities and entertainers for private corporate events, celebrity endorsements, personal appearances, and speaking engagements.

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