The Football Holy : Johan Cruyff

1 year ago

On March 24, 2016, the world said goodbye to one of the people who had a great influence on football, the one who made the Netherlands a real force since the 70s, a changed the entire tactical and training mindset of Barcelona – Johan Cruyff. For us mortals, Johan Cruyff is no different from a 'Saint', a man who created and left the world football a priceless legacy that to this day still exists. exist everywhere.

The reason why Johan Cruyff was declared 'Saint' is because besides the extraordinary talent of a star, he also possesses a poignant life philosophy and a genius playing mindset that cannot be found anywhere else. 'Saint Johan' once said: "I was born not long after the end of the world war, and I was taught never to accept surrender" , and that is why Cruyff went from success to success. another success. You may have heard the saying: "Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is difficult". Yes! That's a football maxim that has been engraved by the whole world from Johan Cruyff.

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Johan Cruyff was born on April 25, 1947 in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, and his home is only a 5-minute walk from Ajax's stadium. From an early age, Johan Cruyff was inspired by his father's passion for football and since then, he has been regularly on the streets of Amsterdam to compete with his peers. During the years he frequented the playground near his house, he accidentally caught the eye of Ajax youth team coach Jany van der Veen and then the coach offered a place in the youth academy to Cruyff without without going through administrative procedures.

In 1959, Johan Cruyff received news that his father had passed away from a heart attack, and he made a promise to himself that he would become a great football player to comfort his beloved father's soul. On December 15, 1964, Johan Cruyff made his first-team debut and scored the only goal in the home team's 1-3 loss to GVAV, but Ajax played poorly for the rest of the season, leaving the club Overcoming the enemy at 13th place on the leaderboard.

The 1965/66 season was a very different start, Johan Cruyff proved capable and played explosively, scoring 25 goals in 23 matches, helping Ajax win the domestic championship. The following season marked a glorious period for Cruyff and Ajax as he and the team won a domestic double and simultaneously brought Dutch football to the continent. In the 1967/68 season, the game in the Eredivisie continued to see Ajax crowned champions with a very special element in the squad – Johan Cruyff, who was voted the best player in the Netherlands.

Referring to the Netherlands, people immediately think of the good old days, the days when Totaalvoetbal (Total Football), also known as "total football" took the throne and helped Ajax dominate Europe for many years. In the 1970/71 season, Ajax were crowned European champions by defeating Sparta Rotterdam 2-1; In the 1971/72 season, Johan Cruyff helped his team secure the UEFA Champions League (then known as the European Cup) by scoring both goals in the final against Milan and a year later, Ajax. beat Juventus to complete the record of 3 consecutive years of European championship in the admiration of the whole old continent.

The author of the hit book Brilliant Orange , David Winner, describes Johan Cruyff as an interpreter and performer of the once quintessential gameplay created by Rinus Michels. Total football was a revolution at that time, it blew into each game the beauty, beauty, sophistication and glamor with philosophies and tactical thinking ahead of its time. Of course, it is none other than Cruyff who has led millions of football-loving hearts to total football.

In mid-1973, Johan Cruyff became the first player to hold the transfer record of the football world when Barcelona put on the table to negotiate $ 2 million to convince Ajax to release and the rest is history. From the very first season of the Blaugrana with Cruyff in the squad, they immediately displayed extraordinary strength of which the 5-0 victory over Real Madrid was the most classic example, and the culés took turns spreading a faith: " With Cruyff, we never lose.” .

Johan Cruyff came to Barcelona in the context that the dictator Real Madrid was dominating the domestic league with a strong star cast and behind that was the backing of a whole power from the royal family. Therefore, more than anyone else, Cruyff has always been the target of politicians and big-name Madrid officials. However, Cruyff didn't mind but instead became strong, cheering the Catalan spirit for his teammates and helping them dominate Europe in the 1973/74 season.

During his time with Barcelona, ​​Johan Cruyff has scored many beautiful goals and among them is "The Phantom Goal", the most famous goal of his career playing for Barcelona. Blaugrana, which is still shown over and over in the documentary En un momento dado . In the match against Atletico in the 1973/74 season, Johan Cruyff hit the ball with his right heel while facing the opponent's goal and it was dubbed Cruyff's Unstoppable Goal .

In 143 appearances for Barcelona, ​​Cruyff scored 48 goals, winning 1 Champions League, 1 La Liga, 1 Copa del Rey. In 1978, not long after deciding to retire at the age of 31, Johan Cruyff and his family moved to the US so that he could continue playing for financial reasons – he had lost millions of dollars due to a loss in business at the beginning of his career. invest in his pig farm. However, in bad luck, Johan Cruyff was able to start over and exactly as he described: "From zero to hero" . In 1981, Cruyff returned to the Netherlands to reunite with Ajax and then moved to Feyernoord in 1983.

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When Cruyff met Ajax again in the 1983/84 season, his team lost to Ajax 2-8 and he scored both goals for Feyernoord. Despite the disastrous defeat, Johan Cruyff declared a saying that people still admire because of his bravery: "Fine, we will win anyway" . Since then, Feyernoord has been unbeaten for five months and won the domestic championship trophy at the end of the season.

At the national level, Johan Cruyff was an integral factor in the Dutch team's runner-up record at the 1974 World Cup as he led a team with total football tactics that swept all opponents out of the way. the path of the hurricane. However, fate did not favor Cruyff and his teammates to the end when the Netherlands lost to West Germany in the final. Besides, Cruyff summed up his performance with the famous saying: "Good kick without winning is meaningless, winning without good is boring." .

After retiring from the national team in 1978, Johan Cruyff began to cherish the idea of ​​being a coach for a club and in 1985, that plan was realized when he returned to Ajax in a new position. Under Cruyff, he focused on building talented young players and the result of that vision was the birth of a series of Dutch legends such as: Marco van Basten, Rijkaard and the Champions League title in the same year. 1995 is a profound tribute to Cruyff's service.

However, Johan Cruyff's great success came when he took over at Barcelona, ​​where he left behind a valuable contribution that cannot be calculated until now. At Camp Nou, he took all the profound knowledge of tactics accumulated from his time as a player and applied it to the Barcelona team, where tiqui-taca first became known to the world. One of Cruyff's most iconic legacies was Dream Team 1992, where Michael Laudrup, Ronald Koeman, Pep Guardiola, Eusebio, Stoichkov reunited and together conquered the top of Europe.

Along with his time as a coach, he also helped Barcelona's La Masia youth academy rise to become one of the most famous talent training centers in the world. When Cruyff arrived, La Masia furnace had existed long before, but it was Cruyff who changed the whole training mindset of the center when applying the original Ajax training mechanism. Instead of looking for players with physique and strength, Cruyff has advocated training players with technical skills and sharp thinking to play so that the Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas, Puyol or Busquest generations are proof of success. Cruyff's most brilliant.

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In 2013, Johan Cruyff announced his retirement from all positions and posts in Catalunya for health reasons when he was diagnosed with lung cancer – the result of addiction since a young age. For 3 years, despite being treated by doctors and nurses, Johan Cruyff was forever gone to return to God, leaving behind millions of hearts of compassion and admiration for a great football player.

Happy birthday and rest in peace, “Holy” Johan!