Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit admitted today his former club AC Milan were "always in his heart" as he said he would relish a return to coaching.
Gullit was part of the hugely successful Milan side of the late 1980s and early 1990s and said he hoped to see the glory days return to the San Siro. After leaving Milan, the 48-year-old enjoyed a successful spell as player-manager at Chelsea before taking the helm at Newcastle and Feyenoord. He quit as coach of Los Angeles in August 2008 after less than a year and says he would love to return to the game.
"Of course I would like to come back to coach," he told reporters at a golf event in southern China. "To be involved in football is great and if I have the right opportunity I will do it."
By their own high standards, the Rossoneri have had a lean run in recent years - their last major trophy was the 2007 UEFA Champions League crown and they have not won the Scudetto since 2004. They stand second in Serie A, two points behind Lazio, but a 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat away to Real Madrid last week has left them in danger of being dragged into a scrap for second place in Group G with Ajax. Gullit, twice World Player of the Year and captain of the Netherlands side that won the 1988 UEFA European Championship, said a dip in performance was only to be expected.
"The thing is Milan at the moment is not doing as well as it does in the past, but this is normal," Gullit said. "The club in the last 20 years won something like 30 trophies. That is exceptional - I think that no club in the world has done that, so there's always a part where you go a little bit down then up a little bit."
Gullit also said the club had been hit hard by the global financial downturn and forced to sell off some of its prized assets, including Brazilian midfielder Kaka to Real Madrid. "That never happened (in the past) for a big club like Milan, but of course you need the money at the moment," he said. "But Milan is always in my heart, I always follow them and hopefully they will get back to the top again."