Ruud Gullit

Ruud Gullit

The Dutch football manager and former professional footballer takes time out from the Ryder Cup Exhibition Match 2009 to talk about what it takes to become a sporting legend.

Raise Your Game: As a sporting legend yourself, what do you need to get to your level?


Ruud Gullit

1 September 1962



FC Haarlem, PSV, Fevenoord, AC Milan, Sampdoria, Chelsea.

International caps:


  • FA Cup title (1997)
  • Italian Championship title (1998, 1992, 1993)
  • Italian Cup title (1994)
  • European Cup title (1989,1990)
  • European Super Cup title (1989,1990)
  • European Championship title (1988)
  • Dutch Championship title (1984, 1986, 1987)
  • European footballer of the year (1987)
  • Dutch Cup title (1984)

Managerial career:

  • LA Galaxy (2007-2008)
  • Feyenoord (2004-2005)
  • Newcastle (1998-1999)
  • Chelsea - Player/manager (1996-1998)

Ruud Gullit You need a little bit of luck, but you also need the right mentality. You need to know what you want and where you want to be. That's the big question.

RYG: How much hard work goes into being a success?

RG: When your friends want you to go out and you have to tell them that you have to stay home and be very serious with what you drink or what you eat. It takes hard work and you must believe in yourself.

RYG: What skills can you transfer from the pitch to other walks of life?

RG: It's the discipline. You have to be aware of the fact that you only have a short career and therefore, in that small period, you have to win everything that is possible.

Ask yourself the questions: Do you want it? Do you want to live by it? What will it take to achieve that goal? If you're serious about it, then you will have more possibilities to do it.

RYG: How similar are the skills that you learnt from football and the skills that you need to be a successful golfer?

RG: I think the similarities are in the drive. Golf is a very individual sport compared to football, however the Ryder Cup is the only competition where players at least get to play as a team. As a footballer you understand what it feels like to play for another country and for people who expect a lot of you.

RYG: What's more important attitude or talent?

RG: You need both. You cannot do without the other, but talent doesn't just come by itself.

RYG: You've played all around the world, had to adapt to different countries and different climates. How difficult is it to adapt to a different language?

RG: It's not too difficult, you just have to be open for it. The most important thing is that you need to learn as quickly as possible the habits of the country, and you can only do that by learning their language.

RYG: What would be your advice to young people looking up to you as a sporting role model?

RG: Just enjoy yourself. If you don't enjoy, it will be harder to achieve your goal. Where you have a talent, don't waste it.

The secret is to apply yourself to exactly what you're doing for the time you're doing it.

Brendan Foster

Athletics commentator

Training ground

Colin Jackson

Work hard

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Media zone

Pierre Dulaine

Video clips

Check out the video with the famous dance instructor Pierre Dulaine.

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