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Dutch legend Ruud Gullit launches stinging attack on Netherlands squad



DUTCH legend Ruud Gullit says the Oranje squad simply do not have the leaders in the team to make them Euros contenders.

In a brutal sideswipe at Euro 1988-winning team-mate Ronald Koeman’s side — captained by Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk — Gullit dismissed the mindset of the men in orange.


Ruud Gullit did not mince his words about the Dutch national teamCredit: PA
The Netherlands are outsiders for the Euros - a tournament they won 36 years ago


The Netherlands are outsiders for the Euros – a tournament they won 36 years agoCredit: Rex

And the ex-Chelsea boss, who got the opener in the 2-0 1988 final win over the USSR, claims too many stars are in awe of the boss and lack courage to make their own big decisions.

Laureus World Sports Academy member Gullit said: “I’m hoping it’s like ’88 all over again for Holland but that was a long time ago.

“I trust our players and our talent. But I am not sure about the leadership on the pitch.

“We have a new generation of Dutch managers who want to dictate to the players.

“We have too many players who just do what the coach tells them to do. That’s not what wins games under pressure.

“When you are looking for a team that can win the Euros, I want to have players who make a difference on the pitch.”

Recalling 1988, Gullit added: “In my day, when something went wrong on the pitch, Marco van Basten would have been screaming at me.

“Not because he hated me but because he was trying to do the best for the team and we miss that sort of attitude today.



“I don’t see the leadership on the pitch any more because nobody wants to talk.

“Everybody is too nice to each other and we don’t have that exceptional player who can lead.”

Scotland fans singing in a bar in Munich before Euro 2024 opener with Germany


Holland start against Poland in Hamburg on Sunday but Gullit ruled out winning the Euros.

He said: “The favourite is France. They have a good team. In fact, they could put out three teams and still be competitive.

Germany are coming back again and played stronger when I saw them in Paris against France in March. So for me they are the two favourites.”

Netherlands Euro 2024 guide

RONALD KOEMAN has overhauled Holland’s playing style after returning for a second stint in charge.

Captain Virgil van Dijk will be expected to be a stalwart in defence while Xavi Simons will be hoping for a breakout tournament. But they may miss injured Frenkie de Jong.

MANAGER: Ronald Koeman

Ex-Barcelona and Everton boss was the scourge of England as a player when he knocked Graham Taylor’s side out of World Cup qualifying in 1994.

STAR MAN: Virgil van Dijk

Liverpool star has won everything there is to win at club level and will be counted on to keep things tight at the back.

How Holland attack

The Netherlands will play with a typically Dutch patient possession-based build-up.

They will stagger their positions to play through the lines, but can be overly individualistic in the final third.

How Holland defend

The Dutch will play with a medium block, allowing the opposition to break the first line before engaging in the midfield area.

They can run into problems when they fail to protect the middle of the pitch.

Read the full Netherlands 2024 guide here, including predicted line-ups, odds and Wags

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