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Tuesday's Connector: Ruud Gullit

July 5th, 2010
04:26 PM ET

Ruud Gullit is one of Holland's most loved and cherished football players and managers - having been part of the team that won Euro 88.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/05/dutch.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Ruud Gullit is your Connector of the Day."]

Born in 1968 in Amsterdam, Gullit made his debut with the Dutch national team at the young age of only 18, playing as a substitute during a game against Switzerland.

Gullit quickly emerged as an agile and versatile player on the Dutch side and played an integral role during the team's play at Euro 88.

After losing the opening game, Holland quickly rebounded and emerged as a strong contender during the tournament.

After defeating West Germany in the semi-final, Holland faced the Soviet Union in the final and Gullit helped take the team to a 2-0 win of the championships.

Two years later, Gullit was part of the national team's squad that competed at the 1990 FIFA World Cup.

Gullit was named European Footballer of the year in 1987 and World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.

In addition to being one of the most talented football players, Gullit has also proven himself as a talented manager over his career.

He has coached teams ranging from Chelsea FC to most recently the Los Angeles Galaxy.

As Holland prepare to take on Uruguay on Tuesday night, here's your chance to quiz Ruud Gullit on the team's chances.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Ignatius Albert Wijaya

    Until 2010 you were the only Dutch captain to have lifted a major trophy. Giovanni van Bronckhorst has a very good chance to become the second but who is your favorite Dutch captain other than yourself?

    July 5, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    What is your opinion on the referees decisions during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    July 5, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Reply
  3. Vi Lincer

    Do you think that sometimes having no chemistry in the locker rooms works better on the field as Holland Teams has proven?

    July 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  4. Richard Stevens

    What sides do you think have been more successful in this tournament, those that attempt to play their natural game or those that try and adapt to their opposition and have a gameplan

    July 5, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  5. Cassandra Magnuson

    My money's on Germany, but even I am surprised the Dutch team has made it this far. They just haven't looked impressive like Germany.

    What is the rationalization behind the Dutch team seeming to be only playing defensively (constantly kicking the ball back to the goalie- one of my biggest soccer pet peeves) and not coming out strong in the first half? I believe they are setting themselves up to lose with a strategy like that.

    How has the bad officiating affected the World Cup and how will it change things for future Cups?

    Thanks from a Texan.

    July 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  6. Federico Elbl

    Do you think the ball that is being used today is hindering the game or changing it? For example, goalies are choosing to punch the ball instead of trying to grab it, and direct kicks by professional experts are being overshot by a meter or more, causing some to take direct kicks as indirect kicks so as to have the ball moving while struck (which has proven affective).

    Federico Elbl
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    July 5, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  7. Rick Spruyt

    If you were the current coach of the Netherlands, what would be your key message to the team as they prepare for the semi-final clash?

    Rick Spruyt

    July 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  8. Bry

    Hi Ruud,

    Oranje has a very impressive win-loss record. But I haven't seen any "sexy football" yet. Do you feel that the way the team has been playing in this WC really reflects their record? Or did they get into the semis by a combination of a fair amount of luck combined with just decent football?


    July 5, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  9. Edward

    Assuming that Holland will beat Uruguay (which isn't guaranteed):

    How can Holland beat Germany?
    How can Holland beat Spain?

    July 6, 2010 at 12:28 am | Reply
  10. Naz

    This world cup was completely taken over by vuvuzelas. Do you think FIFA should ban this to bring back the real voice of supporters, emotions of the audiance and players in the staduim and out? I hope this doesnt become a culture of footbal as it has elimanated the feeling of world cup

    July 6, 2010 at 1:03 am | Reply
  11. Amour

    Holland is one of my favorite squads. Germany to my opinion is hugely more strong, what kind of tactic would help Holland defeat Germany at the finals.. If it comes to that ?


    July 6, 2010 at 3:11 am | Reply


    July 6, 2010 at 5:01 am | Reply
  13. MPK

    Provided Orange defeats Uruguay tonight, who would you rather meet in the final: Germany or Spain?

    July 6, 2010 at 6:03 am | Reply
  14. Joseph Lalrintluanga

    Which is better — the current Dutch squad or the squad that included Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard? And where are the beautiful hairs, the most beautiful dreadlock in the world. I really want to see you again with those long hairs. Thank you.

    Joseph Lalrintluanga
    Mizoram, India

    July 6, 2010 at 6:10 am | Reply
  15. kenneth

    You are one of the football great alive today >do you think your country can lift the world cup >And what presently are you doing in football i want to see you more active in football.After Euro 88 you became my hero>Good luck

    kenneth Aneke

    July 6, 2010 at 6:27 am | Reply
  16. kenneth

    You are one of the football great alive today >do you think your country can lift the world cup >And what presently are you doing in football i want to see you more active in football hero>Good luck

    kenneth Aneke

    July 6, 2010 at 6:29 am | Reply
  17. stanga

    Should players like Elia be aloud to walk around with the Surinamese flag when Holland becomes # 1, like the teamsters did when young oranje won and the players with Suriname roots did that? I mean Messi, Drogba did that in the past too.
    Do you think women/girlfriends should fly in before the game?
    Stanley, Amsterdam

    July 6, 2010 at 6:44 am | Reply
  18. Roshan Fernando

    Do you think that the rules which allowed Suarez to "handball off" Ghana to be changed so that in such a goal line situation the attacking side would be awarded the goal straightaway?

    July 6, 2010 at 6:47 am | Reply
  19. Xavier Baudet

    You had a few reggae hits in the eighties. How's your music doing now?
    Xavier Baudet
    The Netherlands

    July 6, 2010 at 6:47 am | Reply
  20. Yes Would

    NOT FOOTBALL!!!!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 7:29 am | Reply
  21. itai

    Do you think a good performance of the dutch team at the worldcup will help in the Dutch Bid to host the Worldcup in 2016?

    July 6, 2010 at 8:18 am | Reply
  22. Aziz Drahimi

    Dou you think that a world cup tournament in March/April will provide us with much more action? (eventhough it will interupt most major leagues around the world)

    Aziz Drahimi
    Paris, France

    July 6, 2010 at 8:33 am | Reply
  23. Joost Rieter

    Given the fact that many decisions made by the referees were completely incorrect ( both with goals and fouls), are you in favour of integrating electronic devices as the 4-th "referee"?
    Would teams have the same options to question decisions like we see today at Wimbledon where either party has 3 "calls" or would you favour unlimited calls?

    July 6, 2010 at 8:54 am | Reply
  24. Chris Baker

    Germany leads all nations will 4 world cup final defeats. While no other country has three such losses, the Dutch share two defeats with 5 other nations. Who are they?

    July 6, 2010 at 9:06 am | Reply
  25. Chris Baker

    There's been rumors that your TV partner -Jurgen Kilnsman- might be the favorite to take over for Bob Bradley for the US coaching job following the World Cup. Any chance you'll throw your hat into the ring?

    San Diego, CA

    July 6, 2010 at 9:08 am | Reply
  26. AlonfromIsrael

    Just giving you a headsup that Holland will be heading home today. you got lucky against Brazil and before them you haven't really played anybody. Israel has the best team and we will win the world cup in Brazil. Long live Israel!!! we are the best and have always been the best as god's chosen people!!!

    July 6, 2010 at 9:22 am | Reply
  27. martijn lindeman

    Hi Ruud,

    If Holand wins the cup, will you also buy a Ruud Gullit wig and moustage and dress up as your younger (1988) self? 🙂

    Martijn Lindeman
    Huizen, Netherlands

    July 6, 2010 at 9:23 am | Reply
  28. Matthew

    What went wrong with England?

    July 6, 2010 at 10:38 am | Reply
  29. Phil Gatchell, Heidelberg

    I know the German team is looking good, or so they seem to be saying, but I pick the Dutch to beat their butt. Chase them down fast and don't allow them to brig the ball down field. Their so self-centered and got their heads up high, that they won't even see your dazzling speed and control. Beat their butts, please.

    July 6, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  30. Henry

    Hi Ruud,

    Do you believe that quality of football today as not as good as 20 years ago? Is it the players or the strategies that are making football suffer?

    Why is it that we see countriesin the World Cup today that 20 years ago were not even classifying while all time favorites are getting eliminated in the first rounds?


    Dutch Caribbean

    July 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  31. Mike van Gerven

    If a Holland-Germany final were to be on the cards, how would you rate the chances of both teams?

    July 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  32. Bibi Ghana

    Ruud, good to see you at the world cup. Where is GianLuca Vialli? I quit following Chelsea as soon as you left. You are a distinguished player. What are you up to these days?


    July 6, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  33. Moukhtar Gwarzo

    Do you think the present Holland football team can achieve what you guys couldn't achieve during the 1990 world cup finals in Italy?

    Moukhtar Gwarzo
    Kano, Nigeria.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  34. Bibi Ghana

    Have you ever considered coaching an African national team? I think you will excel


    July 6, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  35. Bibi Ghana


    Where did Ghana go wrong? How do we rectify the situation?


    July 6, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  36. dario

    If Uruguay wins, will finally the people understand the beauty of football?
    The underdog Uruguay has the best defense and they have the guts to play against any favorite, and beat them.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  37. Osvaldo from Brazil

    Hi Ruud,

    First I would like to encouage you to rebuke Israeli- Alon's comments, I guess he or she doesn't know anything about soccer let alone The Netherland's soccer which was always better than Brazilian's,our media doesn't accept it, in 1994 and 1998 the Dutch team was better than ours but it was eliminated by Brasilian team, we won 5 championships but not always the best wins and I personally believe that the sellection of Pele, an explendid footballer, as the best soccer player of all time had João Havelange's hand on it. No one was or is better than Johan Cruijff. Are there young players in your country to come up and continue the work in the next team generation?

    July 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  38. Les Inklind

    Moderator, you must be a Jewbag too.

    July 7, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  39. Sander

    Hi Ruud – this is Sander from the Netherlands

    Ruud, what would be your strategy for Holland to beat Spain in the finals? Have you been happy with the line-up so far? For myself, I think its been well-selected so far – we'll need to defend goals from Spain and take our chances to score our goals – that's the only way we'll win. It'll be a tough game, but that's just the way it is. And as for the coach, do you think he's hot for an older man, kinda, and overall, how would you rate his coaching style?

    And how has your experience been of coaching the LA Galaxy? What do you find the differences, if any? Does it drive you crazy the Americans call it soccer, rather than football? And of course, how has it been coaching with a star, though often absent, like Beckham. Do you think he has good style, on and off the field, and do you think there are areas on which he could improve, like the lower ranges of his voice?

    So many questions! Sorry.

    Best regards, Sander

    July 9, 2010 at 9:27 am | Reply
  40. Min Wah

    Dear Ruud,

    This is such an honour, I have no idea where to begin!

    Let me start by saying that I have been a huge fan of yours from day one! Who will ever forget your early elastic days with HFC Haarlem, your transfer to PSV where you really began to establish yourself as a world class footballer and of course the golden years at AC Milan with fellow Dutch stars van Basten and Rijkaard. I still dream of your goal against the Soviet Union in 1988 – I cried when you quit for the world cup in 1994. I’m sorry your coaching spell at Feyenoord didn’t work out; I believe your assistant, Petrovic, was not the right man for the job…And as for L.A. Galaxy, you’re too good for them Ruud!!

    Ever since I was a little girl growing up in PRK, I have followed your career as much as I could, but with the constant news blackouts it was tough to keep track of your life. On my small world receiver (no batteries needed – you could manually recharge it!!) I would always tune into sports news (6:15 sharp – I remember it like yesterday) and would listen closely to hear if your name came up (wuud goelit as they would pronounce it, haha). This would create fights with my family who wanted to listen to BBC world news, but I persevered, all for you Ruud! On weekends, I would play football with my PRK friends on the field at the foot of the mountain and guess who I always used to be, that’s right, Wuud Goelit! ;P

    So here a little background that might help put the following question I’ve been dying to ask for years into perspective: what hair product did you use to make that distinctive dreadlocked hair you used to sport back in the days look so shiny? I have tried all sorts of products but just cannot get the same effect. Did you use a conditioner before washing or did you directly apply it – did you wait for it to dry or did you blow-dry?

    Thanks Ruud, I truly wish you all the best and I hope to see you continue your coaching career somewhere else in the world!


    Min Wah (currently residing in Bangladesh but previously in the PRK as I mentioned earlier).

    July 13, 2010 at 3:59 am | Reply

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