After his spell at
Newcastle, Gullit spent several
years working as a football commentator, having previously coined
the term "sexy football" during his spell as a BBC pundit during
Euro 96 which was at a time Gullit was still playing professionally
for Chelsea. Gullit used the term to describe teams, such as
Portugal at that tournament, who played attractive football with an
emphasis on the defense-penetrating pass-and-move game.
By 2006, Gullit had a talk show on Dutch TV, where he
has interviewed, amongst others, Nelson Mandela. When Gullit was
named winner of the Ballon d'Or in 1987, he dedicated the award to
the then imprisoned Nelson Mandela. At the time, Gullit was signed
to AC Milan and the Italians raised their eyebrows, "Nelson who?".
Gullit tried to explain and they said, ‘Oh, a footballer with
political beliefs’. Gullit has since in interviews told that he met
Nelson Mandela after he was released and Mandela said, ‘Ruud, I have
lots of friends now. When I was on the inside, you were one of the
In 2007 Gullit recalled, "Four months ago I
visited Robben Island and met three guys who were cell-mates of
Nelson Mandela. They remembered my dedicating my award in 1987 to
Mandela and they said they couldn’t believe what I had done, and
were sure the football authorities would withdraw the award. That's
what apartheid did to them, it made them believe injustice was a
normal part of life."
He also appeared as a pundit for ITV during the
2006 FIFA World Cup and works as an analyst for the UEFA Champions
League games on Sky Sports.