Ruud Gullit for pact barring big clubs luring away native talent

July 29th, 2012 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 29 (IANS) With big football clubs luring away exciting talents to offshore destinations hurting the prospect of countries like the Netherlands, legendary Dutch footballer Ruud Gullit Sunday advocated a “gentleman’s agreement” allowing young players to play only in their native countries.

“The problems for countries like Holland, Belgium, etc are that wealthy clubs from England, Spain and Italy lure away budding talents to off shores leaving the native countries bereft of those talents. There should be a gentleman’s agreement between countries to leave young talents to play in their national competitions only,” Gullit told mediapersons here.

The former European player of the year also asked for the international governing bodies of the sport to come hard on racism.

“Racism is peculiar not only to football. It is a social vice and the FIFA and the UEFA should take steps to check the menace. It has become a culture of sorts to single out the minority. There have been many instances of racial abuse in sports,” said Gullit.

Describing the legendary Diego Maradona as the world’s greatest footballer, Gullit said another Argentine superstar Lionel Messi was fast catching up.

“I still think Diego Maradona is the best player I have ever seen or played with. He was just exceptional. But Messi is closing in fast. He’s a wonderful sight in full flight and we are lucky to have him around,” said Gullit who was once described by Manchester United great George Best as a player better than Maradona.

Commenting on the current domination of Spain in world football, Gullit said the game was ever evolving and sooner or later there will be another country on top of world football.

“Everybody thought there can be no better team than Brazil, but now it is Spain which is the dominant force in world football. The game is constantly evolving and in the future we may have another team taking all the laurels,” added Gullit.

Gullit is in the city on a two day visit during which he will attend the final match of a ‘para’ (community) tournament.

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