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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Johan Cruyff - All Time Hero of Dutch Football

Name Johan Hendrikus Cruijff
Born 25 april 1947 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Position Forward, Attacking Midfielder
Caps 48 (33 goals)
Clubs Ajax, FC Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante, Feyenoord
As a manager Johan Cruyff was active for Ajax and Barcelona
Trophies Ajax
1x Intercontinental Cup (1972)
3x European Cup (1971, 1972, 1973)
2x European Super Cup (1972, 1973)
8x Dutch Championship (1966, '67, '68, '70, '72, '73, '82, '83)
4x Dutch Cup (1967, 1971, 1972, 1983)
Barcelona
1x Spanish Championship (1974)
1x Spanish Cup (1978)
Feyenoord
1x Dutch Championship (1984)
1x Dutch Cup (1984)
As a manager Johan Cruyff won the European Cup (1992), the European Cup Winners Cup (1989), four Spanish Championships (1991, '92, '93, '94), and the Spanish Cup (1992) with Barcelona, and the European Cup Winners Cup (1987) and two Dutch Cups (1986, 1987) with Ajax
Honours 3x European Footballer of the Year (1971, 1973, 1974)
1x IFFHS European Player of the Century                                                                                                                        
 - Biography -                                                                          
 Johan Cruyff, or Cruijff as the name is actualy spelt, was the star of the exciting 1974 Dutch "Total Football" World Cup team and the Ajax Amsterdam team that won a hat-trick of European Cups in the early Seventies. Three times European footballer of the year, Cruyff was the most gifted European player of his generation, and probably of all time.

His supreme technical skills, speed and acceleration, and his tactical insights made Cruyff virtually impossible to defend against. Wearing his trademark Nr.14 jersey, he usually played the centre forward position, but would often drop deep or move to the wing to confuse and draw out his markers. The tremendous tactical insight he had displayed as a player, enabled Cruyff to go on to become a world class coach after hanging up his boots in 1984.

Johan Cruijff in action against Argentina during the 1974 World Cup
Johan Cruyff in action against Argentina during the 1974 World Cup

Building on the legacy of his mentor Rinus Michels, Cruyff proved himself the most unrelenting apostle of attacking football in the history of the game. Possession of the ball played a crucial part in his football philosophy. Cruyff abhorred the overly physical game that was dominant in the 1980's. He instructed his players not to go running mindlessly up and down the pitch, but to concentrate on combination play and let the ball do the work instead.

El Salvador - Johan Cruijff arguing with Spanish authorities
El Salvador: Johan Cruyff arguing with Spanish authorities

He began his coaching career at Ajax, but it was at Barcelona that his revolutionary vision of a free flowing attacking style of football came to real fruition when he assembled a team that included Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman and Josep Guardiola. Fondly remembered by Catalonians as the 'Dream Team', they succeeded in winning a host of domestic trophies as well as the 1992 European Cup.                                                                                                                                                                                                          
- League Matches -

Season
Club
Country
Matches
Goals
1983 - 1984
Feyenoord
Holland
33
11
1982 - 1983
Ajax
Holland
21
7
1981 - 1982
Ajax
Holland
15
7
1981
Washington Diplomats
United States
5
2
1980 - 1981
Levante
Spain
10
2
1980
Washington Diplomats
United States
27
10
1979
Los Angeles Aztecs
United States
27
14
1977 - 1978
FC Barcelona
Spain
28
5
1976 - 1977
FC Barcelona
Spain
30
14
1975 - 1976
FC Barcelona
Spain
29
6
1974 - 1975
FC Barcelona
Spain
30
7
1973 - 1974
FC Barcelona
Ajax
Spain
Holland
26
2
16
3
1972 - 1973
Ajax
Holland
26
16
1971 - 1972
Ajax
Holland
32
25
1970 - 1971
Ajax
Holland
25
21
1969 - 1970
Ajax
Holland
33
23
1968 - 1969
Ajax
Holland
29
24
1967 - 1968
Ajax
Holland
33
27
1966 - 1967
Ajax
Holland
30
33
1965 - 1966
Ajax
Holland
19
16
1964 - 1965
Ajax
Holland
10
4
Total:
520
293
                                                                                 

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