By the time you read this, Netherlands, which is arguably the best team to have never won the World Cup, will either be out of the tournament or into the finals. Over the years, the European powerhouse has produced greats like Frank Rijkaard, Denis Bergkamp, Marco Van Basten, Edgar Davids and Ruud Gullit.
Five fortunate football aficionados — CV Ramesh (Bangalore), Rohit Kuthiala and Sandeep Singh Sandhar (Delhi), Abhay Wadhwa and Sanjay Khullar (Mumbai) were recently flown down to South Africa to meet one of these Dutch legends. All that the winners of the Meet Ruud Gullit contest had to do is SMS a unique code, which they got on savouring Whyte & Mackay Special. Says contest winner Abhay, “I was in Bangalore and sent the text message because someone had requested me to. Next day, I got a call informing me that I was going to Johannesburg.”
The winners not only got a chance to meet Ruud Gullit, but were also fortunate enough to get expert advice from the accomplished player on the nuances of the game. The breakfast meeting, which happened on the day of the Brazil Vs Netherlands match, lasted for more than two hours. The winners also had an opportunity for lengthy photo ops.
Talking from his studio, Gullit told HT how excited he was in helping create new ambassadors for the game. “This meeting with football fans from India was truly an event that brought the world together. I was happy to be seen in the company of the winners and to know that India too has ardent followers of this game," he stated.