Hendrik Johannes Crujiff (born: April 25, 1947), known as Johan Cruyff, is a former Dutch midfielder and forward who was one of the best players in the 70s, winning multiple Leagues and European championships. As a manager, he led FC Barcelona to multiple titles. He grew up from a poor background, living a couple of minutes away from the Ajax stadium De Meer. He was only seven years old when he trained with the club and suddenly football became part of his everyday life. Johan Cruyff played for Ajax, Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante and Feyenoord and The Netherlands.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
In 1971, 1973 and 1974, Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or. He was part of the World Team of the 20th Century, the FIFA World Cup Dream Team in 2002 and the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players in 2004. He won three European Cups.
Why Was He So Good?
Johan Cruyff’s playing style and football philosophy has had considerable influence on a few notable managers and players. His technical skills, speed and acceleration, as well as his tactical insights made him impossible to defend against.
What You May Not Know
- He managed Ajax in 1985-1988, Barcelona in 1988-1996 and Catalonia in 2009-2013.
- The Dutch “Total Football” player was the first-ever three-time European Player of the Year winner – a career which brought him to the Netherlands, Spain and the US.
- Johan Cruyff finished second behind Pele in the International Federation of Football History and Statistics World Player of the Century poll.
Was Cruyff a legend?
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- Cruyff won the Ballon d'Or in 1971, 1973 and 1974
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