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Category: Johan Cruyff

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Buy a classic sport photograph: Cruyff’s special jersey

The ninth of a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own for just £55 including free deliveryNow here’s a photograph that’s both nostalgic and rich in football …

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Jordi Cruyff on Johan: the dad who became Barcelona’s spiritual father | Sid Lowe

Before the unveiling of a statue outside Camp Nou, Jordi Cruyff talks of how his famous father shaped his life and why it did not work out at Manchester UnitedThe way Jordi Cruyff tells the story, the way his mum and dad always told it, one day Johan C…

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If you want to hold a grudge follow the example of Leigh Roose | Paul Doyle

Yaya Touré is no Johan Cruyff but they are mild compared to the keeper who caused chaos for Celtic and against StokeIt is getting to the stage where we are going to have to accept Yaya Touré is no Johan Cruyff. Shame, really, because the Ivorian had th…

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Johan Cruyff’s leftwing legacy lives on as rich are barred from renting childhood home

Footballer’s flat in Amsterdam available as social housing for low earners only despite calls to turn property into a museumUntil he was 12, Johan Cruyff lived on the corner of Tuinbouwstraat and Akkerstraat in the working-class Betondorp district of A…

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Ronald Koeman looks to bring something old and something new to Netherlands

Past master was schooled by the Dutch greats but has turned to youth as he tries to return his country to football’s top tableWatching Ronald Koeman’s press conference before the Netherlands’ friendly against England on Friday, it almost felt as though…

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Meet Jon Bakero: the MLS SuperDraft prospect with ties to Johan Cruyff

The son of longtime Spanish international José Mari Bakero is one of the most intriguing prospects heading into Friday’s MLS SuperDraftIt isn’t common practice for the son of a World Cup starter to enter the MLS SuperDraft.Once seen as a vital way to a…

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What formation did Holland’s Total Football side actually play?

Plus: father and son in the same team (2); all relegated teams being prompted; who are the highest-ranked team not to play at the new Wembley; and did Terry Venables invent the Christmas tree formation?

“Everybody talks about Total Football, but what formation did Holland’s 1974 team actually play?” wonders Lisa Webb.

The romantic rhetoric of Holland’s 1974 team says their formation was 10, with anybody capable of playing anywhere. That description of Total Football is Partial BS – Johan Cruyff, for example, would have been sliced and diced if he played at full-back against a winger like Jurgen Grabowski – but they were more fluid than any side we’d seen at that point.

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Joan Laporta: ‘Barcelona has been kidnapped. It’s hostage to lies and it’s sad’

The former Barcelona president on why the club’s board should resign, why he is certain Pep Guardiola will succeed at Manchester City and the day he feared he might be forced to sell Lionel Messi

There is a story Joan Laporta tells of the day he called Pep Guardiola to his office and told him he was going to be the new manager of Barcelona, to which Guardiola replied: “You haven’t got the balls.” If there is one thing Barça’s former president never lacked it is balls and yet he does not see it like that, even though José Mourinho wanted the job. Nine years on, it looks the obvious decision; back then, he claims it was obvious too – and he insists Guardiola is also right for Manchester City. “It wasn’t bravery, it was logic,” he says. “And if City back him as he deserves he’ll succeed. He’s an optimist, a winner and he’s brave: he won’t hide.”

Laporta sits in his sixth-floor office on Diagonal, the wide, 11km-long avenue that cuts through Barcelona, the day after an event with the Johan Cruyff foundation. “I miss him so much,” he says, “but it’s strange: we all said it’s as if he hasn’t gone.” When Laporta was growing up, he cut his hair like Cruyff, his idol as a player and later a coach. Eventually, they became close. In the presidency and beyond, the Dutchman became his adviser. Cruyff was an ideologue, almost a spiritual guide. Not only to Laporta but to many, especially those at the gathering, Guardiola and City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, among them.

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Joan Laporta: ‘Barcelona has been kidnapped. It’s hostage to lies and it’s sad’

The former Barcelona president on why the club’s board should resign, why he is certain Pep Guardiola will succeed at Manchester City and the day he feared he might be forced to sell Lionel Messi

There is a story Joan Laporta tells of the day he called Pep Guardiola to his office and told him he was going to be the new manager of Barcelona, to which Guardiola replied: “You haven’t got the balls.” If there is one thing Barça’s former president never lacked it is balls and yet he does not see it like that, even though José Mourinho wanted the job. Nine years on, it looks the obvious decision; back then, he claims it was obvious too – and he insists Guardiola is also right for Manchester City. “It wasn’t bravery, it was logic,” he says. “And if City back him as he deserves he’ll succeed. He’s an optimist, a winner and he’s brave: he won’t hide.”

Laporta sits in his sixth-floor office on Diagonal, the wide, 11km-long avenue that cuts through Barcelona, the day after an event with the Johan Cruyff foundation. “I miss him so much,” he says, “but it’s strange: we all said it’s as if he hasn’t gone.” When Laporta was growing up, he cut his hair like Cruyff, his idol as a player and later a coach. Eventually, they became close. In the presidency and beyond, the Dutchman became his adviser. Cruyff was an ideologue, almost a spiritual guide. Not only to Laporta but to many, especially those at the gathering, Guardiola and City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, among them.

Continue reading…

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Johan Cruyff remembered by Bob Wilson

25 April 1947 – 24 March 2016
The former Arsenal goalkeeper and pundit recalls the genius, humility and humour of his friend, the great Dutch footballer

• Muhammad Ali remembered by Davis Miller
• Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2016 in full here

Johan had this way of holding his head up when he talked to you, of raising his chin. It wasn’t arrogance; it was more an expression of the natural superiority he had about him. Yet at the same time, despite his incredible worldwide fame, he was a hugely humble man. I loved that.

We became friends after Arsenal played Ajax in the early 70s. We’d beaten them in the Fairs Cup in 1970 and two years later they beat us in the European Cup. We played against each other in friendlies and in a Scotland-Holland game as well.

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Johan Cruyff remembered by Bob Wilson

25 April 1947 – 24 March 2016
The former Arsenal goalkeeper and pundit recalls the genius, humility and humour of his friend, the great Dutch footballer

• Muhammad Ali remembered by Davis Miller
• Read the Observer’s obituaries of 2016 in full here

Johan had this way of holding his head up when he talked to you, of raising his chin. It wasn’t arrogance; it was more an expression of the natural superiority he had about him. Yet at the same time, despite his incredible worldwide fame, he was a hugely humble man. I loved that.

We became friends after Arsenal played Ajax in the early 70s. We’d beaten them in the Fairs Cup in 1970 and two years later they beat us in the European Cup. We played against each other in friendlies and in a Scotland-Holland game as well.

Continue reading…

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Pep Guardiola: ‘I would not be here without Johan Cruyff. He was unique’

In a rare, exclusive interview, the Manchester City manager talks about his former coach and mentor, a man who taught him to always ‘want more and more’

“He was unique, totally unique,” Pep Guardiola says of Johan Cruyff on a quiet Thursday afternoon in London. “Without him I wouldn’t be here. I know for sure this is why I am, right now, the manager of Manchester City and before that Bayern Munich and Barcelona.”

On a sofa tucked away in a Bloomsbury hotel, the intensity of Guardiola’s gaze sharpens the impact of these words about his former coach and mentor. “Before he came we didn’t have a cathedral of football, this beautiful church, at Barcelona. We needed something new. And now it is something that has lasted. It was built by one man, by Johan Cruyff, stone by stone. That’s why he was special.

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Amsterdam’s Johan Cruyff tribute tram – in pictures

Since Johan Cruyff passed away in March there have been numerous tributes to the Dutch Master, and on Monday, which would have been his 69th birthday, the Amsterdam transport company GVB introduced its own unique tribute, a special tram emblazoned with many images of Dutch football’s most famous son. The tram bears the No14, the same number Cruyff wore during his his career and it began its first journey at 2.14pm near the part of the city where Cruyff was born

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Raúl to play for Real Madrid again in match to honour Johan Cruyff

• Legendary goalscorer to return for Corazón Classic charity game against Ajax
• Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and Clarence Seedorf will also feature at Bernabéu

Raúl will play for Real Madrid again in June when Ajax visit the Bernabéu for a match in honour of Johan Cruyff.

The former Spain striker, who left Real in 2010 as the club’s all-time leading scorer with 323 goals – Cristiano Ronaldo has since surpassed his record – will pull on the famous white shirt in the Corazón Classic charity game.

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This is Ajax: the club Johan Cruyff rebuilt

Frank de Boer, Dennis Bergkamp, Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam, Ronald de Boer and Marc Overmars have returned to Ajax in recent years to develop young, successful players – and to turn Johan Cruyff’s dreams for the club into reality

By Copa90, part of the Guardian Sport Network

What is the true identity of Ajax as a football club in 2016? In the words of Edwin van der Sar, their recently appointed marketing director, Ajax are “a club that focus on producing young players”. This was not the case a few years ago, but to understand the changes that have taken place in recent season we must look to the persistence of one man: Johan Cruyff.

In the wake of Cruyff’s passing, focus has been placed on his dumfounding ability as a player. However, we must remember the strength of his footballing ideology. An ideology glamourised by Barcelona but born at Ajax.

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Sport picture of the day: Barcelona pays homage to Cruyff

There may be no man who has influenced modern football like Cruyff; certainly not at Barcelona. As a player he delivered their first league title in 14 years; as a manager he led them to their first European Cup. Before el clásico, the Barça fans held up a mosaic of 90,000 cards to say thank you to the late, great Dutchman

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Barcelona to wear ‘Gràcies Johan’ shirts in clásico as tribute to Cruyff

• Club legend died last week after lung cancer diagnosis
• Camp Nou supporters also to display mosaic with same slogan

Barcelona will pay further tribute to club legend Johan Cruyff by wearing a shirt with the inscription Gràcies Johan on their shirts for Saturday’s clásico against Real Madrid.

Related: Barcelona hold last day of memorial tribute to Johan Cruyff

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Barcelona hold last day of memorial tribute to Johan Cruyff

• Luis Enrique: ‘Johan leaves us a fantastic legacy that will continue’
• Barça players pay homage with minute’s silence before training

Barcelona held a final day of respect for Johan Cruyff on Tuesday, remembering the Dutch football great who is largely credited with reinvigorating the club and helping launch its modern winning era.

Related: David Squires on … Johan Cruyff

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David Squires on … Johan Cruyff

This week, David Squires celebrates the late Dutch legend’s incredible achievements in football. You can find David’s archive of cartoons here

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Wembley to honour Johan Cruyff in 14th minute of England v Holland friendly

• FA to promote minute’s applause but there will be no stoppage in play
• England will again wear black armbands in memory of Cruyff

England fans will be invited to celebrate the life of Johan Cruyff in the 14th minute of Tuesday’s international friendly with Holland.

An incredible player and game-changing manager, the former Barcelona and Ajax forward was died at the age of 68 on Thursday following a battle with lung cancer.

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