In Memorandum: Johan Cruyff
Why the late Dutchman was the most influential player of all time
June 08, 2016
This has been a rather ruthless year so far. David Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman and Johan Cruyff have been just some of the monumentally influential personalities that have left us, and with the European Championships upon us this month the loss of the great Dutch midfielder seems particularly significant.
Older fans may recall his flowing locks, his whiplash grace, the immortalised ‘Cruyff Turn’, the three times he won World Player of the Year, or wearing the iconic number 14 on his back at a time when players only wore numbers one to 11. Others will remember his tactical nous as manager of Barcelona where he won a European Cup and four league titles; or for revolutionising tactics by introducing Total Football to the world. Regardless whether they realise it or not, today’s younger fans still benefit from Cruyff’s genius, as during his time as head of Barcelona’s youth academy, helped lay the grounding of a new form of possession-based football that would spawn the all-conquering Spain and Barcalona sides of the last decade.
Whatever role he played, Cruyff’s devotion to open, creative, attacking football never wavered, much like our belief that he will always be the father of modern football.