Question: What have Ruud Gullit, Ken Monkou and Winston Bogarde got in common?
Answer: They were all in Amsterdam on Monday night celebrating one of Dutch Football’s most glamorous social occasions. Held in the historic old stock exchange, Beurs van Berlage, the event saw 1,000 of Holland’s movers & shakers rub shoulders with the great and the good of Dutch football.
Aside from the aforementioned, also present were Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger, Arjan de Zeeuw, Aron Winter, Pierre van Hooidonk, Orlando Trustfull, Michael Mols, Regi Blinker, Bryan Roy, Richard Witschge. It was an A-Z of Dutch football royalty with only a few recluses such as Dennis Bergkamp and Van Basten staying home.
By quirk of fate CFCnet also found itself milling around, blushing shyly at the sea of Dutch models and laughing weakly whenever a footballer told a joke – we can understand many things but not Dutch.
CFCnet made a beeline for Patrick Kluivert but as we got near him we remembered his extra-time goal which knocked us out of the Champions League in 2000 at the Nou Camp. We’d like to say we can let bygones be bygones but we simply couldn’t face the hurt and before you could mumble ‘mas que un club’ quickly turned on our heels and disappeared.
Winston Bogarde was a different proposition. Taking a mighty £40k a week off Chelsea over the course of four years and only 11 appearances, Winston cost the Club just under £1 million per game. For the Matthew Harding Lower Tier, Winston’s a legend for all the wrong reasons. CFCnet therefore couldn’t wait to get stuck in and ask, at the very least, for him to buy us a double whiskey and give us more than one cast iron reason why he, allegedly, robbed the club blind.
As it happened, a more nicer fellow you couldn’t fail to meet and when CFCnet, quite literally, put the $million dollar question to Winston his answer was instructive, “I learnt a lot from the experience and so did the Club.” We’ll leave it at that but rumours on the night suggest he was bought as an experienced defender as back-up to Desailly and Lebeouf but things ‘weren’t quite what they seemed’. Hmmmm. We were advised to look up a copy of Bogarde’s autobiography which we will duly do when we’ve leant Dutch.
At this point CFCnet was introduced to the glamorous Tessa de mos who quickly informed us that she was both a lawyer and FIFA players’ agent. Conversation flowed, as it would do in the company of a Dutch blonde bombshell, but it soon became apparent that 27 yr old Tessa was in fact the eldest daughter of Aad de mos, one of Holland’s most respected managers.
Standing alongside his daughter, we discovered that Aad De Moss is ranked only behind Guus Hiddink in Holland with many European trophies to his name as well as becoming Ajax’s youngest manager aged just 31. To cap it all, Aad de mos managed Cruyff, Van Basten, Koeman and discovered the two Brazilian’s Ronaldo and Romario.
At this point it dawned on us that we were standing next to the Dutch equivalent of Alex Ferguson whilst chatting up his daughter. As the fear rose we discovered our instant ability to talk Dutch – double Dutch – and as CFCnet’s tongue froze, we quietly made our excuses and slipped sideways to order another water.
The whole event was one of the most surreal episodes in CFCnet history – it’s not often you bump into Ruud Gullit at 3am in Amsterdam central square. “Hi Ruud” we said to which he replied, “Hi CFCnet”. As if.
Finally, a little ‘heads up’.This Saturday 14th November, 8pm, twenty one ex-Chelsea players are hosting a Legends’ Evening at Sammy’s Bar & Grill in Teddington High Street.Compered by Sky Sports Matt Lorenzo, the four hour event has a bar, disco and lounge where fans can meet and talk to their old heroes.CFCnet’s single question will be aimed at Jason Cundy – “is Talksport’s Mike Parry still as big an idiot off air as he is on air?”