The football world is in a state of mourning today after the news broke the Johan Cruyff had lost his battle with cancer. Cruyff was a Dutch international who played for Ajax and famously for FC Barcelona. He rose to fame playing for the Catalan side and went on to manage them from 1988-1996. He is credited for reinventing Barca’s La Masia academy which produced talents such as Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi. He introduced a possession based way of playing into the club from youth levels right up to the first team. Cruyff’s system of ‘total football’ and style of play is still used by Barcelona today and was a key factor in Pep Guardiola’s success with the team.
At Ajax he won seven league titles but most notably three consecutive European Cups from 1971 to 1973. Johan Cruyff managed FC Barcelona to their first European cup success in 1992 assembling what was known as the ‘dream team’ featuring players such as Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup and Hristo Stoichkov to name but a few. Cruyff was an extremely talented player himself. He won the Ballon d’Or on three occasions and invented his own move called the Cruyff turn. He made everlasting changes to the way football was played and he will be missed especially in his adopted home of Barcelona.
Cruyff was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015 and sadly lost his battle with the disease today in Barcelona surrounded by his family.
May he rest in peace.