Football: Milan drop Gullit in favour of Papin

Click to follow
The Independent Online
(First Edition)

RUUD GULLIT'S decision to retire from international football has not helped his cause to secure a regular first-team place at Milan, who have dropped him for today's Italian Cup tie with Cagliari.

The Dutch coach, Dick Advocaat, said yesterday he hoped Gullit would change his mind and return to the national side for their World Cup game in Turkey in December. His unavailability for the Netherlands has not helped Advocaat, whose side for next week's World Cup qualifying tie against Poland is all the weaker for the midfielder's absence.

Gullit cited 'personal reasons' for retiring. His reasons are widely considered to have been forced on him to ensure Milan have no excuse to drop him. But despite scoring twice against Fiorentina, Gullit will be rested in favour of the Frenchman, Jean-Pierre Papin.

Elsewhere in England's World Cup qualifying group, the Oldham defender, Gunnar Halle, yesterday predicted that Norway, who have beaten the Dutch and play at Wembley next week, would overcome San Marino again today.

The hapless minnows were thrashed 10-0 by the Scandinavians last month and Halle said: 'Even though it's completely unrealistic to think we'll have a goal feast again, we'll obviously win this time too.'

Norway's only injury worry is their captain Rune Bratseth, of Werder Bremen, who has a strained leg muscle. The Norwegians sit atop European Group Two after hammering San Marino and then surprising the Netherlands 2-1.