The man who changed the definition of football – Johan Cruyff

The man who changed the definition of football - Johan Cruyff
The man who changed the definition of football - Johan Cruyff

Here are some facts you need to know about Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff (Full Name – Hendrik Johannes Cruijff) was a Dutch striker born on 25 April 1947 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His father’s name is Petronella Bernarda Draaijer and mother’s name is Hermanus Cornelis Cruijff. He had a brother – Henny Cruijff.

Childhood

Johan Cruyff’s father was a keen follower of football and encouraged him to play as much football as he could.

He was an enthusiastic footballer right from his childhood and played with his school friends and entered the Ajax youth ranks as a 10 year old.

His father died when he was only 12, and he wanted to become a footballer in memory of his father. By the time the season started in 1965, he established himself in the senior team by scoring regularly.

Career

Johan Cruyff helped Ajax win the league title in 1965 and 1966. In 1966, he made his debut for the Dutch national team and played a total of 48 matches scoring 33 goals.

Cruyff In the 1974 World Cup, he scored 5 goals as the team ended as the runners up at the World Cup and he was named player of the tournament.

In 1970, Cruyff helped Ajax win the Dutch league as well as the league cup and the following year he helped the club win the coveted European Cup. He scored a brace in the following year’s European Cup final against Italian club Inter Milan to help Ajax win the tournament.

He helped Ajax win 6 league titles during his 9 year stint at the club and in his last season, which ended in 1973, he rounded it off by helping the club win the third European Cup on the trot.

Cruyff scored 250 goals across all competitions and made Ajax the best club in Europe. In 1974, he moved to Barcelona, who paid a world record fee for his services. He helped the club win the league title in his very first season that ended in 1974.

During his five seasons at the club, he scored 48 league goals in 143 games. The following season, he played for Washington Diplomats. After two years in the US, Cruyff played 10 games for Levante and subsequently returned to Ajax.

He rejoined Ajax in 1980 and the following two seasons he helped the club win two back to back league titles. The following season, he joined Feyenoord led his new club to victory in the Dutch league and the league cup.

Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff

Johan ended his career at Feyenoord. In 1985, he started his career as a manager with his old club Ajax and won the Dutch Cup at the end of his first season. The following season Ajax won the Dutch Cup again.

After spending three years at Ajax, he took over at Barcelona as the manager. Three years after taking over, Cruyff won his first league title in 1991 and followed it up with the European Cup as well as league title wins in each of the next three seasons.

He built one of history’s most celebrated teams which included players like Romario, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov and Pep Guardiola among others. He left Barcelona after eight years and remains the second most successful manager of the club with 11 trophies.

Awards & Achievements

  • 3X BALLON D’OR
  • 3X UEFA CHAMPIONS LEGUE
  • 1X LA LIGA
  • 1X COPA DEL REY
  • 9X EREDIVISIE
  • 6X DUTCH CUP
  • 1X INTERCONTINENTAL CUP
  • 1X UEFA SUPERCUP

Personal Life

Johan Cruyff got married to Danny Coster on 2 December, 1968. The couple has two daughters – Chantal and Susila and a son – Jordi.

Jordi went on to become a professional footballer. Sadly, his father died of lung cancer on 24 March 2016, in Barcelona, Spain, at the age of 68.