Hendrik Johannes Cruijff is simply a revolutionary in the field of Football. Better known as Johan Cruyff is synonymous with the total football philosophy, which changed the course of strategies in football. He made mark in football as both player and manager. Cruyff was a strong athlete who had amazing speed, body balance, as well as stunning ball control. IFFHS voted Cruyff as European player of the century in the year 1999.He was a three-time European footballer of the year. Cruyff’s name will remain in people’s mind through Johan Cryuff Institute for sport studies, which is there in Mexico, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.
Johan Cruyff was born in 1947 in Amsterdam. He came through the famous youth ranks of Ajax. At the age of just 15, he made his debut at club level for Ajax against FC Groningen on 15th November 1964 in an Eredivisie match with a goal, though Ajax lost. He dominated the European as well as world football during early seventies. He took Ajax to unprecedented heights winning six Dutch league titles, four Dutch cups, three consecutive European cups from 1971 to 1973, European super cup and topped it up with a world club cup. He scored massive 250 goals for Ajax in 318 matches. In first European cup final, Ajax lost to AC Milan 1968.However in 1971 Cruyff inspired Ajax to a 2-0 victory over Panathinaikos the Greek champions. He became the first Dutch player to win the European footballer of the year in 1971.In 1972 he scored the 2 goals to power Ajax to a consecutive European cup glory after defeating Internazionale. In 1973 once again, Cruyff became European footballer of the year.
Cruyff moved to Barcelona in 1973/1974 season, as he felt disappointed over not becoming captain of Ajax. The deal was for a then world record amount of 922,300 pounds. He inspired Barcelona to their first Spanish league title in 14 years, which was topped up with a 5-0 away win over Real Madrid .During his stint with Barcelona he scored his famous “Phantom goal” against Athletico Madrid. He moved to United States to continue his career with Los Angeles Aztecs and played in NASL. He played for Washington Diplomats before leaving for Spain, to join UD Levante, where he had a short stint.
He had a brief stint with Ajax as technical advisor. He rejoined Ajax as player during 1981 winter and went on to win two Dutch league titles as well as one Dutch cup, during his second stint with them. Cruyff once again had to undergo disappointment, as Ajax did not renew his contract. He joined bitter rivals Feyenoord in 1983/1984 season and went on to win Dutch league and two domestic cups, during his stint with them.
Cruyff scored 33 goals for Holland in 48 matches. He had a remarkable world cup in 1974, as he lead Holland to the final where they lost 2-1 to West Germany. During 1974 world cup, he captained the team with total football philosophy. It is all about team consisting players who have same technical abilities as well as physical strength, with which those players can interchange positions as per the demands of the situations. Though cruyff was a centre forward, he used to defend deep at times to confuse opposition and he was a devastating player in total football formation. He called his day from international football in 1977.
Cruyff started his managerial career with Ajax. Ajax won two Dutch cups during 1985/1986 as well as 1986/1987 seasons under Cryuff. He won 1987 European cup winners’ cup with Ajax. He joined Barcelona again, but as a manager in 1988.He managed Barcelona to 4 la liga titles,1990 Copa del Rey, ,1989 European cup winners cup, 1992 European cup,1992 European super cup as well as three Spanish super cup.
Danny coster is Cruyff’s wife. Susila, Jordi, and Chantal are his three kids. His son Jordi played for Barcelona as well as Manchester United. There is Johan Cryuff University as well as Johan Cruyff Colleges in Holland as well as in couple of other countries. He is currently residing in Spain.