Johan Cruyff -The Man Who Changed Football Totally.

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‘That was Cruyff’ these were the lines that were written to pay a tribute after the death of Dutchman, Johan Cruyff. Well, some say it will be difficult to describe the role he gave to football. Slender, swift and lithe, the Dutchman always saw football with a different perception.

His vision was totally different from other players. He used his awe-inspiring talent to change the game for good. People always used to say no other man had put such an incredible impact on the game. But after all these most people still, don’t know about him.

One Moment that Stocked the world.

There are many incidents that happened, but if you ask anyone they’ll say about one incident. That one incident made the whole world shocked. It was the legendary turn took by Dutchman.

Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring

-Johan Cruyff

The incident took place in the 1974 World Cup Finals. It was a match between Holland and Sweden. Everything was normal in that match. But then, in 23rd minutes something happens that force fan to stand on their feet and rubbed their eyes. It was turn took by Johan Cruyff that paralyzed Swedish defender Jan Olsson. If you asked someone, what was one moment was changed the way you look at football, they will definitely mention about that turn.

The turn was so sensational and revolutionized that it made the whole world and even the crowd at Westfalenstadion stand. Many young players still try to copy that turn and many of them still not succeed. He made world class defender of that time bamboozled with that 180-degree turn. But the only problem was football fan wanted to see more such skills form Dutchman. And guess what, after three years later he shocked the world again. On 2-0 win over England with similar skills, he shocked the world again. As they said, Legends never disappoint their fans.

70s – The Golden Time for Dutch and Ajax

He was just 10 year old, when he joined Ajax. But he wasn’t like other kids, he joined it without any trial, such a player he was. And that was the time when Ajax going to live their golden era.

After joining Ajax he quickly rose rank after rank. As a result, he played his first League in 1966. Ajax won season of Eredivisie and Cruyff end with 33 goals with a top scorer. Thus started Ajax’s golden generation. And with this, Cruyff proved to be Rinus Michel’s most important piece of the masterpiece, ‘Totaalvoetbal’. With Ajax, he won 8 League title, 2 Champions League and 3 European Cup. And because of all this, he became the first Dutch player to won Ballon d’Or in 1972.

Not even this, Cruyff also became the part of best Dutch line-up ever resembled. With his ‘Totaalvoetbal’, Dutch line-up stormed the 1974 World Cup and also eliminate two Big-Guns, Brazil and Argentina, from the Tournament. Johan scored a brace against Argentina before hammering another past the holders, Brazil. But unfortunately, Holland eventually lost to West Germany in the finals. But still, Cruyff was chosen as the player of the toornament.

His Career In Barcelona As Player.

Ajax always wanted to sell mid-fielder to Real Madrid, but the man has some other desires. He always admires and wanted to join to Barca at any cost. And with Cruyff, everyone knows that Barca would be unstoppable. Cruyff arrived in Barcelona on 1973. His first year at Camp Nou was phenomenal and with his efforts and skills, they also won La Liga for the very first time. And he was also the part of the team when Barcelona trashes Real Madrid by 5-0.

After the stunning first year, the rest of the year were aren’t quite good, both for the team and as well for him also. Therefore, during all this Cruyff advices the president Josep Lluis Nunez to take some changes. He advised the president to build Ajax-style academy and also give chances to young players also.

His idea was to producing and nurturing young talents, instead of buying them. The objective was actually to teach everything the club stood for. And this went beyond football. And then, Barcelona set up the project named La Masia.

Cruyff’s Carrer at Barcelona As Coach.

When the condition in Barcelona was not going well, they offered Cruyff to take everything as a coach. When he returned to Barcelona to continue his coaching career at Barcelona, what he had stated in Ajax, everyone was happy with this. Nunez thought to bring him back as coach will be the right move and he was right.

Johan Cruyff painted the chapel, and Barcelona coaches since merely restore or improve it

– Pep Guardiola

Young players were emerging from his youth academy were combined by the world’s finest footballers. And that’s how Cruyff’s Dream Team emerged. They were so successful that they won 4 consecutive La Liga titles. And this was the end of the era of Real Madrid’s dominance.

While scouting the youth academy, Cruyff spotted a young player. That player was Pep Guardiola, and then he told his former teammate to change his position. He told to make him play on center for the second half and play the ‘pivot’ position. This was soon adopted by young star and then because of this gameplay, he was transferred to the first-class team. And the rest is history.

But, this wasn’t enough. after being suffering from a heart attack. Cruyff was advised to leave the coaching by the doctors. And maybe that was when Cruyff’s influence on the world of football came to end. Back in 2003, he recommended Frank Rijkaard as coach. And under Frank, Barcelona again started their era of dominance and won the back-to-back league title. And also won Champions League in 2006.

The Beginning Of Total Football.

They call it a strategy that changes the football entirely. ‘Total Football’ was complete masterplan that creates the revolution in the world of football. But many think it was Johan Cruyff who was behind this but, he makes this strategy under the guidance of his mentor, Rinus Michels. It was all about the fill the void that was a weakness in the line-up.

Choose the best player for every position, and you’ll end up not with a strong XI, but with 11 strong 1’s

– Johan Cruyff

Total Football’ meant that could take the ball anywhere and on the position at the pitch. All players take part in constructing attacking and as well as in a defensive manner. Because of this, this allows the team to maintain the tactical structure of the team. And thus, no player was fixed any can be played equally.

If we go down to the history of ‘Total Football’, it was first adopted between the ‘70s by Ajax. It was all under the management under Rinus Michels. The main reason why people always link ‘Total Football’ with Johan Cruyff not with Rinus is quite logical. It was all because Johan was known to play in any position. Cruyff brought his idea and philosophy to every team he managed. Later on, many clubs and International Teams adapted this strategy of playing.

His visualization both as a player and as coach was exceptional. He was the first who started ‘Rondo’ training style. It means that all the players stayed in a circle passing the ball between each other. One player staying at the centre to intercept the ball.


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