While many people argue that Johan Cruyff was the most influential man that our beautiful game has ever had the honour of witnessing, there is no doubt that his genius will be forever etched in the minds of football fans across the globe.
The Dutchman, who not only won the European Cup three years in a row and reached the World Cup final, also thrived at managerial level, with four successive titles and the European Cup to his name whilst managing Barcelona.
However, his immense skill, ability and countless trophies are only a mere fraction of what makes Johan Cruyff a legend, as it was he who put his stamp on the game, revolutionising it in so many ways, from his philosophy of ‘Total Football’ to his world renowned ‘Cruyff Turn’.
Total Football was an idea he had taken from Holland, and whilst managing Barcelona, he successfully implemented the style on not only the first team, but later on all the youth teams at the famous ‘La Masia’ academy also, and it is a philosophy that has taken the club to new heights in the past decade.
Whilst the original idea of Total Football, where any outfield player could take up any position in the team, has been adapted and changed throughout the years, Cruyff’s mark still stays firmly in place on the current style of play aswell.
The fact that Barcelona have managed to produce so many home-grown talents in recent years who all play the same way shows that Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’ of the 90’s has played a huge part in the success of Pep Guardiola’s treble winning team of 2009 and Luis Enrique’s team of 2015, and it also shows that FCBarcelona have so much to thank Johan Cruyff for.
His famous ‘Cruyff turn’ has also survived all the way through the years since his playing days, and can be seen so many times in the modern game, once again, all thanks to Cruyff.
In truth, there are many, many more ways in which Cruyff has changed the game for the good of all those who love football, but it would be impossible to pinpoint every single one of those things.
From an outstanding player who is no doubt one of the best we’ve ever seen, to a manager who’s ideas in the 90’s are still affecting the game today, Johan Cruyff’s untimely death has left the game in shock – but we’ll never forget what he’s done for it – thank you, Johan.