Football

Gullit at Stamford Bridge

CURATOR

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Think sports and creativity: what’s your favorite? That’s the question we asked creatives all around the world. First one to answer: Raymond Cuijpers (1973), a Dutch painter with a history as a football player at professional football-club Roda JC. His love for football and sports in general, is often a source of inspiration for his work. Cuijpers is also a writer of several (non-)fiction books and shares his favorite moment with One Saturday Afternoon: Ruud Gullit & Stamford Bridge. 

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“Midfield opens up. The Manchester City players do not intervene, almost out of respect it seems. Ruud Gullit, in Chelsea FC azure blue, is alone as he draws a straight line from half field to the enemy’s box. Fellow players and opponents are witness to how he plays the ball and executes a hard, pure and levitating shot.”

“The year is 1996 and Chelsea and City have not yet sold their souls to moguls. Stamford Bridge is covered in scaffolding. I’m seated directly behind the goal where Gullit scores. On the opposite side are ad hoc bleachers. To my left the imposing old East Stand towers above the field. The City fans are relegated to a corner of the stands. A feral growl rises from the packed tribune on the away side when City scores the tying goal just before half time.”

“After the game I purchase a Chelsea cap and a poster of Gullit unaware that he is the harbinger of big money in the Premier League.”

 

Raymond Cuijpers, as a football player himself.

Raymond Cuijpers (with ball) as a football player himself.