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1974 FIFA World Cup – News – A tribute to Johan Cruyff

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1974 FIFA World Cup™ - News - A tribute to Johan Cruyff
  • Johan Cruyff was one of many best gamers and coaches ever
  • The Dutchman handed away 5 years in the past at the moment
  • FIFA.com pay tribute with tales, stats, quotes and golazos

Rinus Michels as soon as commented that his star pupil was “a man from Mars”. He was not improper.

Johan Cruyff carried out, and later orchestrated, extraterrestrial acts on inexperienced fields, whereas a minor planet within the photo voltaic system is known as Cruijff in his honour. FIFA.com pays homage to a person who revolutionised soccer on the fifth anniversary of his passing.

What they mentioned about Cruyff

“Cruyff is the most influential person in football history,” mentioned writer Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling. Click the hyperlink under to learn a few of the finest tributes to the Dutchman from the likes of Rinus Michels, Pele, Carlos Alberto, Franz Beckenbauer, Gary Lineker, Marco van Basten, Pep Guardiola and Xavi.

What they said about Johan Cruyff

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What they mentioned about Johan Cruyff

Stick-thin, 17 however bossy as hell

When a schoolboy enters knowledgeable soccer squad for the primary time, he’s invariably shrinking. Not ‘Jupie’.

The stars he all of the sudden referred to as co-employees have been acquainted faces. His step-father, in any case, was Ajax’s groundman, whereas his mom cleaned their dressing room.

“He was really skinny,” recalled Piet Keizer, “but right from day one he’d be shouting orders, pointing at people where to go. He wasn’t intimidated in the slightest. And even at that age he saw the game much quicker than everybody else.”

Cruyff scored 66 objectives in 64 appearances in his first two full seasons at Ajax (1.03 per sport) – thoughts-blowing statistics for a young person who wasn’t a striker.

The No14

A quirk of destiny allowed Cruyff to grow to be synonymous along with his trademark quantity. He predominately wore the No9 shirt in his first six seasons at Ajax, however within the dressing room earlier than an enormous sport in opposition to PSV in 1970, Gerrie Muhren couldn’t discover his No7 jersey. 

Cruyff handed his workforce-mate the No9 and took the closest shirt from the basket of spares, which was the No14. He later recalled: “I told him, ‘Gerrie, PSV went really well. From now on let’s stick with these numbers.’” 

Cruyff duly started immortalising the shirt and, when he found he could be assigned the No1 for the 1974 FIFA World Cup Germany™ – the Netherlands determined upon alphabetical numbering – he entered right into a dispute with the Dutch Football Association to put on the No14, refused to again down, and at last had his want granted.

The likes of David Ginola, whom Cruyff tried to signal for Barcelona, Thierry Henry and Claudio Pizarro have gone on to put on the No14 with distinction in homage to its Godfather.

Most objectives in a season for Ajax

Player Goals Games Season
Henk Groot 64 46 1960/61
Luis Suarez 49 48 2009/10
Marco van Basten 44 43 1986/87
Johan Cruyff 41 41 1966/67

‘The Phantom Goal’

Cruyff arrived in Catalonia revered as a serial scorer of marvel objectives. Nobody, nonetheless, may consider what he pulled off in opposition to Atletico Madrid simply 4 months later.

It was astonishingly on a number of ranges. Cruyff had the foresight to realise the place Carles Rexach’s low-flying cross was heading; the intuitive creativeness to concoct his plan; the spring and adaptability to leap and contort his physique; and the preposterous ability to fizz a again-heel, executed along with his again to objective, 4 ft off the bottom, into the Miguel Reina’s web.

“Cruyff is the only man in history who could have scored that goal,” mentioned the nonetheless-wowed father of former Spain goalkeeper Pepe.

‘The Phantom Goal’ stays probably the most thoughts-blowing in soccer historical past.

Barcelona had gone 14 years with out profitable La Liga – throughout which period Real Madrid had seized 9 crowns to fly previous them as its file champions – till ‘El Salvador’ (‘The Saviour’) impressed them to glory in his first season at Camp Nou. Fourteen is, after all, the Dutchman’s trademark quantity.

Cruyff quotes

“Before I make a mistake, I do not make that mistake.”

“What is speed? The sports press often confuses speed with insight. See, if I start running slightly earlier than someone else, I seem faster.”

“Players today can only shoot with their laces. I could shoot with the inside of my foot, the outside, the laces – with both feet. In other words, I was six times better than today’s players.”

“Surviving the group stage is never my aim. Ideally, I’d be in one group with Brazil, Argentina and Germany. Then I’d have eliminated two rivals in the first round. That’s how I think. Idealistic.”

“With my teams, the goalkeeper is the first attacker, and the striker the first defender.”

“What makes me different from most other [coaches]? I want people to come to the stadium and enjoy themselves. Football has to be about joy.”

‘Total Football’ intoxicates the world

‘Total Football’, and ‘The Cruyff Turn’, have been paraded on the FIFA World Cup™ platform in 1974. They wowed.

The Netherlands might have fallen simply brief within the Final, however they delivered some unforgettable performances en route. They received all three matches within the second group stage with out conceding a objective, pulverising Argentina 4-0 and beating Brazil 2-0 in a end result that flattered the defending champions.

Cruyff delivered one of many best particular person World Cups ever, whereas that Oranje facet stay arguably one of the best workforce not to conquer the competitors.

The Netherlands’ all-time high scorers

Player Goals Games Ratio Years
Robin van Persie 50 102 0.49 2005-17
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 42 96 0.55 2006-17
Patrick Kluivert 40 79 0.51 1994-2004
Dennis Bergkamp 37 79 0.47 1990-2000
Arjen Robben 37 96 0.39 2003-17
Faas Wilkes 35 38 0.92 1946-61
Ruud van Nistelrooy 35 70 0.50 1998-2011
Abe Lenstra 33 47 0.70 1940-59
Johan Cruyff 33 48 0.69 1966-17
Wesley Sneijder 31 134 0.23 2003-18

The ‘Dream Team’ and La Masia

After impressing within the Ajax dugout, Cruyff was made Barcelona coach in 1989, instantly creating the exhilarating ‘Dream Team’. Between 1990 and ’94, he led the membership to 4 straight La Liga titles and three European trophies, together with the UEFA Champions League.

Fundamentally, he pushed for the founding of La Masia and persuaded the membership to abandon its coverage of rejecting anybody smaller than 1.80m.

“Without him there would have been no Messi, Xavi, Iniesta,” mentioned Albert Ferrer, whereas Xavi added: “Cruyff is the father of everything, the patriarch of this philosophy, the DNA of Barça.”

Did you realize?

  • Cruyff virtually doubled the world-switch file when he joined Barcelona from Ajax. So large was the price that Barça had to register the participant as a chunk of agricultural equipment to move him by way of import rules.
  • The Dutchman was the primary participant to win three Ballon d’Ors (1971, ’73 and ’74). Only one man had seized the prize with greater than double the votes of his runner-up – Alfredo Di Stefano in 1957 – till Cruyff did it twice.
  • Cruyff virtually joined Leicester City in 1981. The Foxes boasted Gary Lineker at the moment.
  • Cruyff got here second in a 1999 vote performed by the IFFHS for the Greatest Players of the twentieth Century, behind Pele. Franz Beckenbauer, Alfredo Di Stefano and Diego Maradona competed the highest 5.


Johan Cruyff, extraordinary participant, extraordinary coach, inspiration to hundreds of thousands, soccer revolutionary, thanks for every little thing. RIP.

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