Johan Cruyff

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Cruyff, Johan,

1947–2016, Dutch soccer player. He played forward (1964–73) for the Dutch League's Amsterdam Ajax team, assuming a key role in their six league championships, four Dutch Cups, and three European Cups. In 1973 he was traded to the Barcelona, became its captain, and led it to the 1974 Spanish League championship. Cruyff later (1979–81) played for several teams in the North American Soccer League and ended his playing career with Ajax in 1982. A three-time winner (1971, 1973–74) of the European footballer of the year title, he was known for his versatile and intelligent play and his advocacy of "total football," in which players constantly pass the ball, interchanging roles as the situation changes, a style that influenced the worldwide game. After retirement he coached at both Ajax and Barcelona. In 1999 he was named the best player in Europe in the 20th century.
References in periodicals archive ?
He spent three seasons at New York Cosmos, playing alongside such greats as Franz Beckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Pele.
WEST GERMANY 1974: Brazil met their match as they went out 2-0 to Holland, with the likes of Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Johnny Rep introducing the world to the concept of 'Total Football'.
The Dutch side at that time, with Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Ruud Krol to the fore, have been widely dubbed the best team never to have won the World Cup.
But when Holland run out at Soccer City on Sunday, Bert van Marwijk's side have the chance to lay the ghosts that still haunt from the generation of Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Ruud Krol.
Legends such as Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Wim Jansen were giants in the Oranje but even they never managed to go to a major competition with an unblemished record.
Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskins and Ruud Krol formed the heart of that Dutch side but it was the hard-grafting Germans who eventually lifted the trophy.
Holland have produced the talents of Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Gullit and national boss Marco van Basten but have yet to collect the ultimate prize.
That Ajax side, which included Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Krol and Arie Haan, was the basis of Rinus Michels' Dutch side that should have won the 1974 World Cup.
However, he is perhaps best known for creating total football with the Dutch team in the 1970s, with players such as Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Krol and Rob Rensenbrink.
Cruyff, Johan Neeskens, Ruud Krol, Arie Haan, Jonny Rep and captain Piet Keizer were pioneers of a new style.