Johan Cruyff is no more


“I’m not religious. In Spain all 22 players make the sign of the cross before they enter the pitch. If it works all matches must therefore end in a tie”

Johan Cruyff

 

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Cruyff, the magician with football , the Dutch striker who was selected European footballer of the century, died yesterday at the age of 68. He was a non believer.

 

The Guardian wrote:

This was football from another planet, football as reimagined by a master choreographer assigned to strip it down, discard the rusted and outmoded components and reconstruct it in a way that was not just more aesthetically pleasing but more lethally and unanswerably efficient. The result was an approach that seemed to draw not just on a completely new set of skills but on a different mentality, one finally set free from the game as it had been known in its previous incarnations.

With Johan Cruyff, the grace of Rudolf Nureyev came to the football pitch.
Cruyff incarnated the new way. Lithe, slender and as swift as the wind, ferociously competitive, with the strength in his thighs and the anticipation to ride the scything tackles of the time, alert to everything around him and delving into a bottomless bag of technical and tactical tricks, he treated football as, above all, an excuse for exercising creativity. Being Dutch, he was used to questioning the received wisdom, and when he appeared on the international scene towards the end of the 1960s, the game was ready to be shaken up by a bunch of long-haired revolutionaries.

Though he was not able lift the World Cup, he left his huge legacy to world in the form of Total football. The playing style of club Barcelona, which he coached for a long time, is a living example of his legacy.

Comments

  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    The Dutch side came so close in 1974 with Cruyff, and in 1978 without him. A brilliant, brilliant footballer.

  2. says

    Hockey has two players who compare in their influence and importance to the two European giants of the 1970s, players that could make fans of each sport appreciate the other. Bobby Orr was akin to Franz Beckenbauer, defenders who led their teams and became the primary attacking player. Wayne Gretzky and Cruyff were alike, players who saw and understood the game differently than anyone before, controlling and using teammates to create space and opportunities in ways that seemed unearthly or even magical.

  3. Rob Grigjanis says

    left0ver1under @2:

    Bobby Orr was akin to Franz Beckenbauer

    Oh Christ, not even remotely. Orr was the Pelé of hockey, never mind the defender/attacker nonsense. A player worth watching for the sheer joy of the grace, skill and movement. Beckenbauer was a supremely gifted player, but a politician on and off the field, always. He oozed professional cynicism, which Orr and Pelé never did.

  4. Rob Grigjanis says

    left0ver1under @2: Sorry about that. I can get a bit carried away sometimes with football. Your comparison does have merit.

Comments welcome