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Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff
Complete Name: Hendrik Johannes Cruijff
Nationality: Dutch
Place of Birth: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Date of Birth: 25/04/1947
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 68 kg
National Team: Holland
Current Club: Retired
Position: Forward


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Club career history

Ajax (Holland), FC Barcelona (Spain), Los Angeles Aztecs (USA), Washington Diplomats (USA), Levante Union Deportiva (Spain), Feyenoord (Holland)


1971 Golden boot (Ajax)
1973 Golden boot (Ajax)
1974 Golden boot (Ajax)
1972 Intercontinental Cup winner (Ajax)
1972 European SuperCup winner (Ajax)
1971 Champions League winner (Ajax)
1972 Champions League winner (Ajax)
1973 Champions League winner (Ajax)
1966 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1967 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1968 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1970 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1972 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1973 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1974 Primera League Champions (FC Barcelona)
1982 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1983 Dutch League Champions (Ajax)
1984 Dutch League Champions (Feyenoord)
1967 Dutch Cup winner (Ajax)
1971 Dutch Cup winner (Ajax)
1972 Dutch Cup winner (Ajax)
1978 League Cup winner (FC Barcelona)
1983 Dutch Cup winner (Ajax)
1984 Dutch Cup winner (Feyenoord)
1974 World Cup Finalists (Holland)


Cruijff (sometimes spelled Cruyff; born April 25, 1947 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football trainer/coach and former star player, regarded by some as the all-time great of the game. Named three times European Footballer of the Year (1971, 1973, 1974) and European Player of the Century by the IFFHS in 1999, he was a silky exponent of the football philosophy known as Total Football, developed by his trainer Rinus Michels.

Cruijff played successively for Ajax, FC Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante Union Deportiva and Feyenoord. As a player, Cruijff was known for his technical ability: his mesmeric ball skill, speed and acceleration, the ability to change direction at will and his tactical insights make him one of the most gifted footballers of all time. He has been named as one of the best football players of his generation, alongside George Best, Franz Beckenbauer and Pelé, although he did not win a cup or tournament with his national team. As a Dutch international he played 48 matches, in which he scored 33 goals.

The highlights of his football career as a player include winning the European Cup three times (1971 - 3, with Ajax), the Ballon d'Or (European Player of the Year) thrice (1971, 1973 - 4), and leading the Netherlands to a runners-up medal in the 1974 World Cup. In 1978 he refused to participate in the World Cup that was held in Argentina because it had suffered a military coup only two years before the cup; the Netherlands emerged runners-up again that year.

At the age of 32 Johan signed a lucrative deal with the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League (NASL). He had previously been rumoured to be joining the New York Cosmos however, the deal did not materialise. He did however play in a couple of exhibition games for the Cosmos. He stayed at the Aztecs for one season, finishing as the NASL's Most Valuable player of 1979. The following season he moved to Capital City to play for the Washington Diplomats, he played the whole 1980 campaign for Washington, leaving soon after the start of the '81 season.

Johan Cruijff has trained two football clubs after his active career as a player, Ajax and Barcelona. As a manager he led Ajax to victory in the European Cup Winners' Cup (1987) and Barça to four league titles (1991 - 4), as well as FC Barcelona's only European Cup (1992). This record made him the most successful coach in FC Barcelona's history. His open support gave candidate Joan Laporta the victory in FC Barcelona's latest presidential elections. He continues to be an adviser for him, although he holds no official post at FC Barcelona right now, sparking controversy about his real role and influence.

Cruijff used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day prior to undergoing double heart bypass surgery in 1991, after which he quit smoking forever and began chain-sucking Chupa Chups lollipops instead. He also led the anti-smoking campaign developed by the Health Department of the Catalan government.

In November 2003 Cruijff invoked legal proceedings against the publisher Tirion Uitgevers, over its photo book Johan Cruijff de Ajacied, which used photographs by Guus de Jong. Cruijff was working on another book, also using De Jong's photographs, and claimed unsuccessfully that Tirion's book violated his trademark and portrait rights.

The Dutch Supercup is named after him: Johan Cruijff-schaal.

His son, Jordi Cruijff, has played for teams such as FC Barcelona, Manchester United and Alaves. Cruijff was his trainer at Barça.

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