Ruud Gullit Keynote Speaker
- One of the greatest footballers of his generation
- Named "World Football Player of the Year" in 1987 and 1989
- Regular football pundit for international media
Ruud Gullit has played and managed football at the highest level. As one of the most iconic footballers ever to have graced the pitch, he captained Holland’s magnificent Euro 88 title-winning team, was European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and World Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989. In 2004 he was named one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of FIFA’s 100th anniversary celebration.
A versatile player with an incredible appetite for victory, Ruud became the world’s most expensive player in 1987 when he moved from PSV Eindhoven to Milan for a then record £6.5 million. He ended his career as a professional football player with Chelsea FC where he stayed on to manage the London club. During his first season as player-manager he guided Chelsea to an FA Cup trophy in 1997, the club’s first major trophy in 26 years. In doing so, Ruud became the first non-British manager to win that trophy. Ruud has also managed clubs such as Newcastle United FC and Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Rudd has since established himself as an in-demand football commentator, having previously coined the term “sexy football” during his spell as a BBC pundit during Euro ’96. He also appeared as a pundit for ITV during the 2006 FIFA World Cup; a studio analyst for ESPN during the 2010 FIFA World Cup; and an analyst for Al Jazeera Sports during UEFA Euro 2012. In 2014, Ruud joined BBC’s Match of the Day as a studio pundit and first appeared during the 2014/15 season.