Ruud Hesp (October 31, 1965) was a goalkeeper who played for Fortuna Sittard for years. He won prizes at Roda JC and FC Barcelona, he started his career in 1985 at HFC Haarlem.
Although the brother of former defender Danny Hesp did attend the European Championship '96 and the World Cup '98, he has not played any official international match for the Orange. His only appearance was during an unofficial exhibition match against the Swiss FC Lausanne-Sport where he played for 45 minutes. He then saw himself replaced by Ed de Goeij.
Hesp allegedly started his career in Haarlem where he would play for two seasons, together with Piet Keur and Raymond Atteveld, among others. Due to the competition from Edward Metgod, the goalkeeper did not go beyond two games in the two years that he would be under contract at the Jan Gijzenkade. Hesp he decided to leave for Fortuna Sittard.
In Limburg Hesp immediately got a basic place. He would not miss a single league game in the seven seasons he played there. His last year in the Sittard service, he played in the Eerste Divisie. In the summer of 1994, Hesp would go to fellow countryman Roda JC.
In Kerkrade, the goalkeeper did not miss a single competition match and with Ger Senden, Regillio Vrede and Eric van der Luer, among others, the KNVB cup was even won in 1997. With the cup in his pocket, Hesp left for Spain. Because the FC Barcelona of new coach Louis van Gaal had taken over the goalkeeper.
At the Catalan top club, Hesp became the number 1 under the bar. With world stars such as Sonny Anderson, Luis Figo, Ivan De la Peña and Rivaldo around him, Hesp became national champion in his first two seasons. He also played together with fellow countrymen Michael Reiziger and Patrick Kluivert.
In addition to two national titles, a Spanish cup and a European super cup also entered the trophy cabinet. After three seasons, Ruud Hesp said goodbye to Spain to return to Fortuna Sittard. After two seasons, Hesp retired in 2002 as a professional footballer.
(Photo: ANP – Raymond Rutting)