The Belgian started his career in the youth team at Racing Genk before moving to the academy at Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in 2005.
He then joined FC Eindhoven on loan for the 2007/08 season, where he was handed his first taste of regular football in the Dutch second tier.
Ruud then switched to fellow Eerste Divisie side MVV Maastricht on a permanent deal and made 58 league appearances in two seasons, which also included a loan spell at top-flight side VVV-Venlo.
A move to West Ham United came in September 2010 and he made his Premier League debut against Blackburn Rovers three months later.
In May 2012 he signed for Turkish Super Lig club Eskisehirspor and he made headlines by scoring a direct free-kick from his own half against Umraniyespor.
After five full seasons with the club, he moved to Antalyaspor, where he has continued to be a first-team regular.