Quotes on: Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard

Ruud Gullit

“There was a period in the late-’80s when Ruud rivalled Diego Maradona as the world’s best player, and in virtually any position – centre half, winger, centre-midfield or up front. But for injuries, Ruud would’ve achieved even more than he did.” — Ronald Koeman


“[ . . . ] Gullit was a legend. He was more powerful than Van Basten, so it was almost impossible to get the ball from him. But he had a different style, and was Van Basten’s perfect partner: every coach’s dream is to have a technical player partnered with a physical one.” — Gheorghe Hagi

“A relaxed, open and easygoing person who liked beautiful football. He always gave others confidence to perform well.” — Gus Poyet (about Gullit the manager)

“One of the best Dutch players, and there have been so many. Seldom do you see someone with such physical strength as well as technical ability. Ruud was extremely powerful and a goalscorer.” — Sven-Goran Eriksson

“Ruud Gullit is a great player by any standards. He has all the skills. He’s not afraid to do things with the ball. And he looks as if he’s enjoying every second of it. By my reckoning that’s what makes him an even better player than Maradona. Both have the key quality you will find in all the best players: balance. You just can’t knock them off the ball. It was the same with Pele, Beckenbauer and Cruyff.” — George Best

Frank Rijkaard

“He’s perhaps best known in retrospect for his time as a midfielder, but he started off his career as a centre-back – and that background made him a very tough holding midfielder. Frank was very strong on the ball. At 6ft 3in he was extremely powerful in the air, but he was also pretty quick and could place pinpoint passes – hence his later deployment in midfield. He could play as part of the zonal system or one-on-one equally effectively. He’d be well suited to the modern game.” — John Barnes

“A good defensive midfield player with vision and strength. I played with him at club and international level for many years and he was one of the best. He controlled the midfield with his presence, strength and technique.  He would help start attacks, but make sure the other team couldn’t get at the defence. Provided a great balance to any team he played in.” — Ruud Gullit

24-04-1990 Milaan, AC Milan-Juventus DVD 169 Frank Rijkaard in aktie Foto en copyright: Leo Vogelzang bv

“His move to Milan in 1988 was the making of him – Arrigo Sacchi transformed him into an aggressive, world-class holding midfielder who could score goals, too. Dunga, Desailly, Keane and Vieira all performed that role brilliantly, but Frank is the best holding player ever.” — Ronald Koeman

“He is one of the best (coaches) in the world and he deserves to be with a top team. [ . . . ] He always got the best out of me because I knew he knew what I needed. His experience on the pitch counts for every player he coaches.” — Ronaldinho (2015; about Rijkaard the manager)


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