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Ruud Gullit: Portrait of a Genius
Harry Harris

Ruud Gullit: Portrait of a Genius
Harry Harris

First published in 1997 and now available as an ebook.Two years after arriving in London, Ruud Gullit took English football by storm, not only revolutionising Chelsea Football Club but helping to transform the image of the Premier League so that it now attracts the best footballers from all over the world.Not that it was plain sailing for Chelsea’s player-manager throughout his career. In between winning European Cups with AC Milan and a European championship with Holland, Gullit experienced a succession of bust-ups with former managers and fellow players, disputes with his clubs and personal distractions off the pitch, suggesting that there is a harder, ruthless side to his character.What are the pressures involved in being a player-manager for a top London club? Who, in 1997, were the best players in England? How did Chelsea’s foreign stars such as Zola, Vialli and Di Matteo adjust to the demands of Premiership football? The answers can be found in Harry Harris’s profile of Gullit which includes Chelsea’s memorable 1997 FA Cup triumph and a review of the club’s 1996/97 Premier League season.

Copyright (#ulink_adff4481-1e7c-570b-9e30-c81e81cad68f)

Harper Non-Fiction

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/)

First published in hardback 1996 by CollinsWillow

First published in paperback in 1997

Copyright © Harry Harris 1997

Harry Harris asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication.

Source ISBN: 9780002187817

Ebook Edition © JUNE 2016 ISBN: 9780008192068

Version: 2016-06-03

Dedication (#ulink_a4264ab3-f9b9-5527-8e75-2e84aec14499)

To Linda … a true Chelsea fan

Contents

Cover (#u1419656d-fa1e-580f-97c2-025ec6cc2b48)

Title Page (#u4b743156-4ead-516e-af6d-2cf181625eab)

Copyright (#ulink_35e1cc52-1073-56ef-8174-cefa56ca3e9d)

Dedication (#ulink_bf344217-0b24-502b-ac85-83ba43c31762)

Acknowledgements (#ulink_209486c5-7aea-52f7-b078-61c7ad7df5fd)

Introduction (#ulink_c86810fc-7a61-518f-970e-f7b9c8e48362)

1 ‘I’m Not A Foreigner – I’m a World Traveller’ (#ulink_98bbb380-135b-5850-9a75-e1b84b15d5c0)

2 Rebuilding the Bridge (#ulink_34a781f9-81ee-5bda-a22b-e46cdbcfbd17)

3 Gullit Mania (#ulink_93671eec-d5c9-559f-814c-9d215a81013d)

4 A New Season, a New Challenge (#ulink_26742b8c-73e7-53ce-8056-59b2a29cba25)

5 Dreaming of Total Football (#litres_trial_promo)

6 Cup Battles (#litres_trial_promo)

7 The Troubleshooter (#litres_trial_promo)

8 Ruud Awakening (#litres_trial_promo)

9 Italy – the Dream that Turned Sour (#litres_trial_promo)

10 World Stage (#litres_trial_promo)

11 Private Life: The Man Behind the Dreadlocks (#litres_trial_promo)

12 Boss of the Bridge (#litres_trial_promo)

13 A Cup-Winning Season (#litres_trial_promo)

Career Highlights (#litres_trial_promo)

Index (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Author (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Acknowledgements (#ulink_0caaaf71-3643-5810-904d-48c23fb3208d)

My thanks to close Dutch friend and colleague Marcel van der Kraan for his expert views on the young Ruud Gullit; Godric Smith at the Conservative Party Press Office; and to former Prime Minister John Major for offering his views on Ruud. Plus all the other MPs, celebrities and people in the game who contributed their opinions. My thanks also go to Chelsea chairman Ken Bates, chief executive Colin Hutchinson, Ruud’s UK advisors Jon and Phil Smith of First Artists Corporation, and Sky TV press officer Chris Haynes. The Daily Mirror provided a number of pictures for the book, and it was nice to get so much co-operation from my ‘Fleet Street’ colleagues, notably Michael Hart and photographer Frank Tewkesbury for the snap of Ruud winning the Evening Standard Footballer of the Month award for January 1996, for which Ruud insisted all his team-mates appear! At publishers HarperCollins, praise too for Editorial Director Michael Doggart for recognising straight away my conviction that a biography of Ruud Gullit would make such fascinating reading; Tom Whiting for his patience and helpful suggestions; and Andrew Clark and David Williams for their diligent sub-editing.

Finally, a special thanks to Dutch photographer Peter Smoulders for his excellent portfolio of Ruud Gullit pictures.

Introduction (#ulink_69435c16-afc3-5b6f-96af-cdd4e296bcf6)

The first non-British manager to reach the FA Cup Final is none other than the charismatic Dutchman Ruud Gullit. This is all the more remarkable considering that he achieved this distinction in his very first season in football management.

When he was informed that he had made English football history after Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final demolition of Wimbledon at Highbury in April 1997, it was a moment to savour, a special achievement even in his distinguished career. ‘I have just been told that I am the first foreign coach to take a team to Wembley in an FA Cup final and am very proud of that. But it is important we win it, as first place is the only thing that matters in any competition.’ And win it they did, in true style.
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