Tue 13 April 2021 | 18:00

Top facts about Ruud Gullit, the Black Tulip

As a stylish and friendly soccer phenomenon, Ruud Gullit was twice casted World Football Player of the Year and was generally regarded as one of the World’s best ever players ever. Read on to find out more facts about Ruud Gullit.

Ruud Gullit

, born as Ruud Dil, was a former Dutch footballer who turned to be a manager after retirement. He played professionally durinmg the 1980s and 1990s.

Raised in the school of ‘Total Football’, he remained one of the most renowned and accomplished players of the beautiful game and his incredible versatility and flexibility allowed him to play as defender, midfielder, and forward.

In 1982, on his 19th birthday, Gullit made his international debut. He then proceeded to become 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.

The Dutch forward, midfielder, and defender helped

AC Milan

win three

Serie A

titles and two European Cups from 1987 to 1993. He was named the Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1984 and 1986, won the 1987 Ballon d'Or, and was a member of the Dutch national team from 1981 to 1994.

The first

fact about Ruud Gullit

is that he was named the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989. Gullit played for many top European teams, remarkably, PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan, UC Sampdoria, and Chelsea FC.

Gullit was renowned for two things, his extraordinary skill with the ball and his iconic dreadlocks.

Top facts about Ruud Gullit:

Capable of playing anywhere on the pitch, Gullit effectively consolidated his athleticism and daunting physical stature with his agile poise and technical ability. His all-round game helped him establish himself as one of the greatest disciples of the game.

Ruud Gullit early life

The talented footballer was born on September 1, 1962, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, meaning that

Ruud Gullit’s age

is 59 as of 2021. Talking about

Ruud Gullit’s parents

, it should be mentioned that his father, George, was a school teacher who taught economics and his mother Ria Dil was a museum worker.

However, such a humble background did not stop Ruud from developing an interest in football and taking up football as a career. He grew up with his family in a single, split-level room in Amsterdam. His father was a schoolteacher and his mother worked at a nearby museum.

An interesting fact about Ruud Gullit is that he showed his interest and skill in football at an early age and was selected for the Dutch Youth System while playing for AFC DWS. He improved his skills while at the DYS, and at 16, he was ready to make his debut for HFC Harlem. There is no more information available about

Ruud Gullit’s childhood


Gullit began his senior career at HFC Haarlem at the age of 16. After three promising seasons, in which Gullit scored 32 goals in 91 games, he moved to Feyenoord in 1982.

Once there, he got to play a full season with Johan Cruyff, which left a lasting impression on the young Gullit. Unsurprisingly, that was also his breakout season; in addition to helping


win the Eredivisie, Gullit was voted Dutch Footballer of the Year.

His distinguished career took him to some of the European top clubs such as AC Milan and


, and he played a key role in the Holland success at Euro 88.

Ruud Gullit was awarded the Dutch Footballer of the Year award twice – once in 1984 and then again in 1986. He also received the Chelsea player of the Year award in 1996.

As a notable fact about Ruud Gullit, it is worth mentioning that he went into TV after retiring, getting to interview notable figures in sports as well as politics, such as Nelson Mandela.

Ruud Gullit love Life

The most important

fact about Ruud Gullit

is that he has been married three times. His first marriage was to Yvonne de Vries in 1984. The marriage lasted seven years and the couple had two daughters named Charmayne and Felicity. His second marriage to Cristina Pensa also ended in a divorce.


Ruud Gullit’s children

, it must be mentioned that the couple have two children together– Sheyenne and Quincy. With his third wife Estelle Cruyff, niece of football star Johan Cruyff, Ruud has two children – Maxim and Joelle. Like his previous marriages, this one also failed.

Football legend Ruud Gullit’s wife left him for a younger man because she was sick of his cheating.

Estelle said that she had fallen in love with Moroccan-born Badr Hari, 28, who was 21 years younger than her husband and he was the world champion heavyweight kickboxer.

Upon leaving Ruud, Estelle said, “There is one thing Ruud needs to know. Badr has not stolen me from Ruud... Ruud gave me away.”

Although she admitted that Ruud was a good father and had supported her as a mother, she said that she needed to get away from the constant pain of his affairs!


Ruud Gullit’s personal life

is kept away from the spotlight, the football player and coach is reportedly dating Margarita Jimenez. His star sign is Virgo, and he is now 59 years old.

Ruud and Margarita Jimenez attended the Laureus World Sports Awards at exhibition center Berlin on April 18, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

It is worth mentioning that Ruud Gullit has written two books, namely, ‘How to watch Soccer’ and the ‘Ruud Gullit autobio.’

Ruud Gullit nickname

Ruud Gullit was famous for his soccer skills and for his braided hair, which earned him the nickname “the black tulip.”

Moreover, when he won the Ballon d’Or in 1987, he dedicated the award to Nelson Mandela who was in prison at that time and made a reggae song about Apartheid.

According to many, Gullit was more than just a footballer, he was a symbol, and one that meant a great many things to different people, not just in his native Netherlands.

Nelson Mandela praised him as “a source of tremendous inspiration for young people, not only in Holland or Europe, but throughout the world.”

A fun fact about Ruud Gullit is that he was a musician (although not anywhere as accomplished in the latter field as he was the former). And more than a musician, he was a voice.

When Gullit received the Ballon d’Or in 1987, he dedicated the award to Mandela. However, for him, this was not politics at all. Rather, ‘it was just a human decision.’

Ruud Gullit professional career

In 1978, Ruud Gullit signed professionally for HFC Haarlem. He made his debut for the club at just 16 years old, becoming the youngest player in the history of the Eredivisie.

Ruud Gullit club career

In 1985, Gullit moved to

PSV Eindhoven

, which saw him come under criticism from Feyenoord fans. Despite the increasing pressure, Gullit continued to improve as a player, which saw him being named Dutch Footballer of the year again in 1986. Gullit won the Eredivisie title in both of his seasons with PSV, scoring 46 times in 68 appearances.

By 1987, it was clear that Gullit had outgrown the Dutch league. The same year, he moved to AC Milan for a then-world record fee of €6.75 million. In doing so, he joined his compatriots Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten, forming the “big three” that would dominate Italian and European football in the coming years.

In his first season with the club, Gullit helped Milan win their first Scudetto in 9 years. For his achievements, he won the 1987 Ballon d’Or.

In 1988, Gullit led the Netherlands to their first UEFA Euro title. This ended the streak of disappointing results for the Dutch, who had failed to qualify for the previous two World Cups. By then, Gullit was the team’s captain and the main driving force alongside Rijkaard and Van Basten.

In the final match, Gullit put the Netherlands in the lead with a header goal, with Van Basten scoring an exquisite volley to put the game away for good.

Gullit led Milan to a European Cup title in 1988. Though a knee injury had sidelined him for much of the following year, he still managed to recover in time for the 1989 European Cup final, where he helped Milan win their second straight European Cup.

Slowly but surely, however, Gullit was starting to be phased out of the team. Milan won two more Serie A titles in 1992 and 1993, but Gullit’s contribution was a minor one.

After being loaned to Sampdoria in 1994, Gullit reminded the football world that he still had what it takes by scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

Though the Milan brass was initially impressed with his showing, things didn’t work out and Gullit soon returned to Sampdoria for another season.

For the final pit-stop in his playing career, Gullit decided to move to Chelsea. Though he was initially played as a sweeper, Gullit soon moved to his preferred midfield role.

During the final two years of his playing career, Gullit assumed the role of player-manager. Thanks to his eye-catching style and demeanor, Gullit played a big part in the “foreign revolution,” which saw many international stars join the

Premier League


HFC Haarlem

In 1978, Gullit signed professionally for HFC Haarlem under coach and former

West Bromwich Albion

F.C. player Barry Hughes.

Gullit made 91 league appearances for Haarlem, scoring 32 goals. Gullit made his debut for the club at just 16 years old, becoming at the time the youngest player in the history of the Eredivisie.

In his first year at Haarlem they finished bottom of the Eredivisie, but bounced back the following season winning the Eerste Divisie. Gullit was named as the best player in the Eerste Divisie that season.

In recognition of his outstanding efforts, in the 1981-2 season Gullit was in fine form as Haarlem finished 4th and qualified for Europe for the only time in their history. In that same season Gullit scored the goal he would later consider his finest, "Playing against Utrecht I went past four defenders and then the goalkeeper, and scored.

It was an unforgettable goal for me. "Hughes was so impressed with the young Gullit that he described him as the "Dutch Duncan Edwards."


In 1982, he moved to Feyenoord, for a fee of £300,000, where he made 85 league appearances, scoring 31 goals.

At Feyenoord Gullit found himself playing alongside Dutch legend Johan Cruijff, while the assistant manager was Wim van Hanegem, and they were to leave a lasting impression. Gullit's first season saw Feyenoord miss out on major honors, but the following year they completed the league and cup double.

Gullit was named Dutch Footballer of the Year in recognition of his contribution to Feyenoord's success. At Feyenoord Gullit occupied an increasingly advanced role in midfield, having played predominantly as a sweeper at Haarlem.

While at Feyenoord Gullit became the focus of a race row as manager Thijs Libregts was alleged to have referred to Gullit as "blackie" and criticized him for being lazy, though Libregts defended himself by claiming that it was merely a nickname

PSV Eindhoven

In 1985, Gullit moved to PSV for ƒ1.2 million (£400,000), and wound up scoring 46 goals in 68 league appearances for the team.

He was again named Footballer of the Year in 1986 as he helped PSV capture the Eredivisie crown, a feat they repeated the following year. It was at PSV that Gullit really began to establish himself as a world class footballer and his distinctive, dreadlocked appearance made certain that he would catch the eye of Europe's biggest clubs.

Gullit was also singled out for criticism by large numbers of Feyenoord supporters, who branded him a "wolf" and accused him of moving to Eindhoven for money.


Silvio Berlusconi signed Gullit for AC Milan in 1987, paying the then record fee of ƒ17 million (€7.7 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, Gullit 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 honors.

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


in the 1990 final.


After his retirement from international football in 1993, Gullit moved to


with Chairman Paolo Mantovani being instrumental in persuading him to join. He was handed the number 4 shirt, as his regular number 10 was occupied by local hero Roberto Mancini.

Gullit led the club to victory in the final of the 1993/1994 Italian Cup and scored the winner in a 3-2 league victory over old club Milan as Samp finished a creditable 3rd in Serie A.

His performances were so impressive that Milan re-signed him in 1994, but after little playing time he returned to Sampdoria to finish the 1994/95 season. Samp finished 8th in 1994-5, missing out on UEFA Cup football to


who pipped them by a point.


In July 1995, he signed for Chelsea on a free transfer. Initially played as sweeper by manager Glenn Hoddle with limited success, Gullit was moved to his more familiar role in midfield, where he scored six goals.

The signing of Gullit, alongside the likes of Mark Hughes and Dan Petrescu, propelled Chelsea to the semi-final of the FA Cup but their league form was disappointing.

Rudd Gullit was named Chelsea Player of the Year in 1996 and helped lead Chelsea to an FA Cup in 1997.

The important

fact about Ruud Gullit

is that his earliest difficulty in England was adapting to the abilities of some of his Chelsea teammates, "I would take a difficult ball, control it, make space and play a good ball in front of the right back, except that he didn’t want that pass.

Eventually Glenn said to me, ‘Ruud, it would be better if you do these things in midfield’. "However, his adjustment was rapid and he ended the season by being named runner-up to Eric Cantona as Footballer of the Year.

Gullit has since often stated in interviews that it was in London he enjoyed his career the most and felt happiest.

In moving to Chelsea, Gullit played an important part in the "foreign revolution" as numerous high profile international stars, such as Jürgen Klinsmann, Eric Cantona, and Dennis Bergkamp, joined Premiership clubs and helped to increase its worldwide profile.

Ruud Gullit International career

In 1981, on his 19th birthday, Gullit made his international debut as a substitute for the Netherlands national team against


, a game the Dutch lost 2–1.

During his early international career, the team failed to qualify for both the 1982 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 1984 - missing out on the latter tournament on goals scored as Spain, needing an 11-goal victory to qualify, trounced minnows


12–1 in their final qualifying game.

Gullit, however, was one of the key players for the Netherlands as he helped his country win Euro 1988 under Coach Rinus Michels. Having lost their opening game of the tournament to the Soviet Union, the Netherlands beat England and the Republic of Ireland to reach the semi-finals.

After defeating West Germany 2–1 in Hamburg, the Netherlands faced the Soviet Union again in the final. Gullit opened the scoring with a header and Marco van Basten scored a volley from a narrow angle to cap a 2–0 win.

Gullit was thus the first Dutch captain to hold aloft international silverware. In 1993, Gullit and Netherlands manager Dick Advocaat began what was to be a long-running dispute which ultimately ended Gullit's international career.

Ruud Gullit social media


Ruud Gullit social media

accounts, it should be mentioned that the forward is active on Instagram (


). He has 513k followers on this platform.

Once, he wrote on his page, “The next generation is here. Unbelievably proud of my boy (


) signing his first contract at Azalkmaar.

Ruud Gullit body measurement

Speaking of

Ruud Gullit body measurement

, it is worth mentioning that his height is 1.91cm and his weight is 88 kg. There is no more information available about his body measurement.

Ruud Gullit net worth

Gullit was sponsored in 1990 to wear a black and white football boot made by Italian sports brand Lotto. The boot he wore was the Lotto Stadio 90, a boot which was initially created for the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Away from the coaching side of the game, Gullit has worked as a pundit for many years and continues his work in the media across a number of global sports channels such as Sky Sports, beIN SPORTS and the BBC.

The Dutch professional soccer manager and former professional soccer player is believed to have a net worth of more than 12 million as of 2021.

A remarkable fact about Ruud Gullit is that he is one of the Richest Soccer Player born in Netherlands. According to Forbes,

Ruud Gullit’s net worth

is estimated to be around $12 Million.

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