Football: Gullit walks out on Dutch

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RUUD GULLIT walked out on the Dutch World Cup squad yesterday, only three weeks before the finals begin in the United States. 'This is the end for me with the Dutch team,' said Gullit, having abandoned the international stage again following a 45- minute comeback against Scotland on Friday that ended 13 months of self-imposed exile.

The 31-year-old, who has just rejoined Milan after a successful season away at Sampdoria, gave no reason for his walk-out but he did criticise the tactics employed by the Dutch in beating the Scots 3-1 in Utrecht.

Gullit's first departure, in April 1993, followed his substitution during a World Cup qualifying match against England at Wembley. He appeared to have settled his differences with the national coach, Dick Advocaat, to whom he intends to explain his latest decision once the World Cup finals have finished in mid-July.

'Gullit told me on Sunday by phone. We spoke for around 15 minutes but did not say much,' said Advocaat, who at one stage was going to be replaced as coach by Johann Cruyff.

Ronald Koeman, the national captain, had the job of telling the players, who 'were amazed'.

Gullit first fell out with Advocaat because the coach wanted him to play wide on the right. Against Scotland, he played the first half as a lone striker in an enterprising 1-2-3-3-1 formation.

Another surprising departure was confirmed yesterday when David May turned down a final attempt by Blackburn Rovers to persuade him to stay at Ewood Park and signed a four-year contract with Manchester United. The fee for the 23-year-old centre-back, valued by Rovers at about pounds 2m, probably will be decided by tribunal.

Agostino Di Bartolomei, who led Roma to their last Italian league title in 1983, shot himself dead yesterday at his villa in southern Italy. The 39- year-old, who scored 59 goals from midfield over 15 seasons for Roma and Milan, was apparently depressed at his failure to secure a coaching job, police said.

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