Cruyff was born within five minutes from the De Meer Stadium, the home of the Ajax football team. His family was working class, therefore he didn’t start off with much.
At the age of 10, he enrolled in the Ajax academy, despite his preference for baseball. After being pressured by his coaches for five years, he finally took football seriously.
Both his club and nation saw him score in his debut. On his debut for the club in a 3-1 loss to GVAV in November of 1964, he scored Ajax’s lone goal. His first match for his country was a European qualifying match on September 7, 1966, against Hungary.
An Outline Of Johan Cruyff’s Life
Hendrik Johannes “Johan” Cruyff was a world-famous player and manager from the Netherlands. On April 25, 1947, he entered the world in Amsterdam. Due to the “Total Football” system, his position on the field was fluid and could have been either attacking midfielder or forward. His dominant foot was his right.
Many football enthusiasts consider him to be the best player in the history of the sport, not just Europe. Talented in every facet of attacking football, he excelled at dribbling more than anything else.
Watching him run past even the toughest defenders was a sight to behold, thanks to his incredible agility and technique.
He was a groundbreaking footballer, and his ability to play in a variety of positions contributed greatly to the achievement of Rinus Michel’s Total Football philosophy. Cruyff served as the team’s on-field conductor as they adhered to a substantial rotational framework.
Between 1971 and 1974, he obtained the Ballon d’Or three times. In 1972, Franz Beckenbauer beat him out for the award. In 1999, he was rated the greatest player in Europe and the second-best in the world (after Pele) by the International Association of Football History and Statistics.
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Cruyff shot to fame in the 1965–1966 season, when he netted twenty-five goals in 23 games and led Ajax to the league title. He ended as the league’s leading scorer the following season with 33 goals.
Leading Ajax to the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup titles. The heyday of Total Football, if you will, began about that time. From 1971 through 1973, Ajax, led by Cruyff, won three consecutive European Cups.
When he transferred to Barcelona from Ajax for a then-record 6 million euros, he once again captivated the attention of the fans. Because of his love for all things Catalan and the fact that he called his kid “Jordi,” he won the hearts of Catalan supporters.
The Los Angeles Aztecs, the Washington Diplomats, Levante, and Feyenoord were just a few of the teams Cruyff played for, in addition to Ajax and Barcelona.
Cruyff was a nine-time Eredivisie champion, a six-time KNVB Cup victor, and a three-time European Cup winner. With Barcelona, he also captured the La Liga title. Cruyff’s national squad lost the 1974 soccer world cup final against West Germany, hence he never won any hardware with his country.
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After his playing career ended, he made a successful transition into coaching and management. His coaching is largely responsible for Barcelona’s adoption of the tiki-taka method of football.