Gullit optimistic of Netherlands' new generation
LEGEND: Dutch great Ruud Gullit (third from left) took part in DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series in Dubai on Thursday. - Supplied photo
Dubai - The Dutch great was in Dubai for the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series at the Emirates Golf Club on Thursday
Dutch great and former Balloon D'Or winner Ruud Gullit reckons golf is a punishing game and compared it to "shooting a penalty every hole."
But that hasn't deterred Gullit, who won the Uefa European Championship with the Netherlands in 1988, from enjoying it. Gullit is a single figure handicapper and was at the Emirates Golf Club for the DHL Swing Against Cancer Golf Series on Thursday.
And the 1987 Ballon D'Or winner, took time off to speak about the beautiful game he played for a host of top clubs across Europe, including AC Milan and Chelsea.
The 57-year-old, capped 66 times by the Netherlands, spoke about the current Netherlands squad, expansion of the World Cup, and the pressure Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is under.
"Sometimes you need a little bit of luck as well," Gullit said of his home nation, who are yet to win a World Cup, with three runners-up finishes.
"Twice we played against the home country. Argentina was impossible to win in those days. Then we played against Germany in Germany as well. It is not easy. The only neutral place was in South Africa and there, we should've won," he added.
But Gullit, who had distinct braided hair during his heydays which earned him the moniker 'The Black Tulip,' was optimistic about the current generation.
"They are doing well at the moment. They have a good squad now with experienced players. They have players playing for Liverpool, Ajax have done well. Some other players are doing well at other different clubs. So, it looks good. So, first qualify and then we are maybe going to be happy in the tournament. This is a good generation," said Gullit.
About Fifa's President Gianni Infantino's plans of expanding the World Cup to 48 teams, he said: "It is a difficult one. Fifa wants to give smaller teams also a chance to participate. The only thing is you don't want them to get spanked. But, on the other hand, I understand it. But the competition is already crowded, there are so many games already," he felt.
Gullit was also baffled by French hero Zidane's decision to return at the helm at Real Madrid.
"It is a hard job for him, I'm surprised that he did it. When you win the Champions League three times in a row, why did you come back, to do what? After last night, now they are talking about is he going to last until Christmas. You don't want that. It is a huge job. There are a lot of players who have been there for a long time, and they are good. But sometimes you need new players in order to get them on their toes, to get them better. Real Madrid are in transition," Gullit said.