Johan Cruyff is a football legend, and his performance as a player, coach and overall leader, changed football. His huge footprints in the sport, are a major legacy for which he will always be appreciated and recognized.
Johan Cruyff certainly deserves a spot on the list of the worlds’ most inspirational sports men. Check out why this player in particular means so much to soccer history.
The Flying Dutchman
It was his trainer, Rinus Michels, who gave him routines that moved towards having a lighter body. This would eventually turn out to define not just the way he looked, but his agility and his quick pace changes that were near unstoppable on the field.
A Little Bit of Everything
Cruyff just couldn’t hold still, and his technique and speed favored this. As soon as you saw him playing defense and the ball touched his feet, he would start running through the field and finish with a powerful strike. He was skilled and fast enough to do it all.
Guardiola’s Barça FC
He inspired this team into taking football to a whole new level. In ’74 his agile form gave a breath of fresh air to Barcelona’s FC’s gameplay. When he joined them, their 14-year-old losing streak, ended in quite a spectacular way at the Bernabéu stadium 5-0.
He’d later come back to Barça to create a “dream team” as a coach, and change their football forever.
Everybody expected wonders from this genius when he got to the World Cup in Germany ’74, and he never disappointed. Four years prior to this, the fans had the chance to admire and be awed by Pele, but Cruyff had no problem filling the void.
His incredible performances lead his team, Netherlands, to go up to the finals against Germany itself, in Munich. Although they lost, the Flying Dutchman’s gameplay was wondrous to behold.
Unfortunately, due to dealing with a relative’s kidnapping, Cruyff had to miss out on the following FIFA World Cup.
It is unfortunate that his career didn’t produce any more titles, especially the World Cups, but his legacy lives on, regardless. Generations of new players and coaches have been taking leaves out of his book for training, putting together teams, and just being all around outstanding players.
“The Flying Dutchman” or “el Flaco”, nicknames attributed as much to his appearance as to his otherworldly speed and agility, will forever live in our memories, since he was a football genius that gave it all in the field and left the fans believing in this sport after Pele.