Forgotten ex-Premier League star invited to coach at Man Utd thanks to little-known Red Devils link

PREMIER LEAGUE cult hero Bryan Ruiz, 38, has been invited to coach at Manchester United as he wants to gain professional experience before moving into football management.

After moving from FC Twente in 2011, Ruiz spent four years at Craven Cottage.

Ruiz was a cult legend at Fulham


Ruiz was a cult legend at FulhamPhoto credit: PA:Empics Sport

The winger was known for his mercurial qualities, which included an excellent first touch and a flair for a pass.

He played 107 games for the Cottagers before returning to Costa Rica to play for LD Alajuelense.

Ruiz only retired last year after competing in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the age of 37.

His surprise coaching move to Manchester United is the result of an encounter with United assistant Steve McLaren when he was playing at FC Twente.

Ruiz played a starring role in the Twente team that won the title under McLaren in 2010 – which earned him his transfer to the Premier League.

The former Costa Rica playmaker has already taken his first steps into coaching as he is now head coach of Alajuelense’s U-17 team.

Ruiz was back in Twente at the weekend for Wout Brama’s farewell game, which Ten Hag also took part in.

Here Ruiz received the invitation to gain experience in Carrington.


Speaking to Dutch broadcaster De Telegraaf after the game, Ruiz said: “I keep myself fit.”

“I go to the gym, play tennis and padel. For the first six months after I quit, I took complete time off and just spent time with my family. Now I have started as a coach for the U17s of Deportivo Alajuelense.”

“To find out if I’m good at being a coach and also if I enjoy it enough. I have now received an invitation to visit Steve McClaren and Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. These are funny things.”

Ruiz scored with a backheel in FC Twente, the 2010 winning team,’s 2-2 draw against Brama’s all-star team on Friday evening.

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Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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