Johan Cruyff (or Cruijff as the name is actually spelt) netherlands football legend has died of cancer on 24 march 2016. He was the star of the exciting 1974 Dutch "Total Football" World Cup team and the Ajax Amsterdam team that won a hat-trick of European Cups in the early Seventies. Three times European footballer of the year, Cruyff was the most gifted European player of his generation, and maybe of all time.
His supreme technical skills, speed and acceleration, and his tactical insights made Cruyff virtually impossible to defend against. Wearing his trademark Nr.14 jersey, he usually played the centre forward position, but would often drop deep or move to the wing to confuse and draw out his markers. The tremendous tactical insight he had displayed as a player, enabled Cruyff to go on to become a world class coach after hanging up his boots in 1984.
Cruyff became the "father" of attacking football in the history of the game. Possession of the ball played a crucial part in his football philosophy. Cruyff changed the overly physical game that was dominant in the 1980's. He instructed his players not to go running mindlessly up and down the pitch, but to concentrate on combination play and let the ball do the work instead.International Carrear
On 7 September 1966 Cruyff made his official debut for the Netherlands in the Euro ’68 qualifier against Hungary and scored in a 2-2 draw. As a Dutch international, Cruyff played 48 matches, scoring 33 goals.The national team never lost a match in which Cruyff scored. In his second match, a friendly against Czechoslovakia, Cruyff was the first Dutch international to receive a red card. The Royal Dutch Football Association banned him from Ajax games but not internationals.
Cruyff led the Netherlands to a runners-up medal in the 1974 World Cup and was named the player of the tournament.They played the so called Total Football, they made it all the way to the final, knocking out Argentina 4–0, East Germany 2–0, and Brazil 2–0 along the way. Cruyff himself scored twice against Argentina in one of his team's most dominating performances, then he scored the second goal against Brazil to knock out the defending champions. The Netherlands faced hosts West Germany in the final and lost 2–1.
Cruyff joined Ajax youth system on his 10th birthday. Cruyff really started to make an impression in the 1965–66 season, scoring 25 goals in 23 games, and Ajax won the league championship. Cruyff played for Ajax until 1973 and later on his carrear returned for two seasons.
1 - Intercontinental Cup (1972)
3 - European Cup (1971, 1972, 1973)
2 - European Super Cup (1972, 1973)
8 - Dutch Championship (1966, '67, '68, '70, '72, '73, '82, '83)
4 - Dutch Cup (1967, 1971, 1972, 1983)
In the summer of 1973, Cruyff was sold to Barcelona for 2 million dollar transfer fee in a world record transfer fee. He helped the club win La Liga for the first time since 1960, along the way defeating their deadliest rivals Real Madrid 5–0 at their home of Bernabéu. He played for Barcelona until season 1978-1979. Winning:
1 - Spanish Championship (1974)
1 - Spanish Cup (1978)
From 1979 until the en of his carrear he played in the United States for: Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, after that he came back to Spain, playing for Levante. In 1981 he returned to his childhood club Ajax Amsterdam for two seasons, before finishing his carrear playing for their rivals Feyenoord. He finished his carrear with impressive stats, featuring in a total of over 700 games and scoring more than 400 goals.