JOHAN CRUYFF: His Life and Times

Johan Cruyff

He joined Ajax youth academy in 1962, going on to make his professional debut two years later. With Ajax, he scored 270 goals in 369 games(1964-1973, 1981-1983), making him the club’s second highest goalscorer of all-time. He also won 17 trophies during his time with the Dutch side.

The forward joined FC Barcelona in a then world record transfer fee, going on to score 61 times in 184 games. He won two trophies during his time with the Catalans. He also played for the likes of Los Angeles Aztecs, Washington Diplomats, Levante and Feyenoord.

As a Dutch international, he played 48 matches, scoring 33 goals. The Netherlands never lost a match in which he scored. He led the Netherlands to the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and received the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. At the 1974 finals, he executed a feint that subsequently was named after him, the “Cruyff Turn”, a move widely replicated in the modern game.

He wore the number 14 jersey throughout his career, setting a trend for wearing shirt numbers outside the usual starting line-up numbers of one to eleven.

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner managed the likes of FC Barcelona, Ajax and Catalonia, winning a total of 14 trophies. He died of lung cancer on 24 March 2016(aged 68).

On This Day In 1947, Hendrik Johannes Cruijff(commonly known as Johan Cruyff) was born in Amsterdam, on a street five minutes away from Ajax’s stadium, his first football club.

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