The death of Johan Cruyff has been felt by the world of football and of sport in general. This is a farewell to a man who changed the course of FC Barcelona. The Dream Team will always be remembered as one of the best the club has ever had, winners of four consecutive Liga titles and Barça’s first ever European Cup, while playing a kind of football that was watched with awe.
Cruyff led that revolution, and a selection of his disciples, Ronald Koeman, Hristo Stoichkov, Andoni Zubizarreta and Jose Mari Bakero pay homage to the memory of a man who played such an important role in their careers.
“The best manager I ever had a as a player. I first met Johan in Holland at Ajax and he later signed me for Barça”.
“We are talking about a manager who had played at the highest level and was considered one of the best in the world. With his experience, and as long as you were willing to accept his way of playing, then you would be able to become an even better player than ever.”
“For us, apart from a coach, he was a person who along with his family always helped us a lot. He did so when I started at Barcelona and that’s why I think of him as my best manager.”
“He was a genius. He will always be my friend and a footballing father. He always showed concern for me, he cared about my family and always wanted to work with me and try to make me the best in the world.”
“He was a unique role model. There have never been any players like him, or very few, in football history. We knew that he wanted to take risks, and we didn’t realise at the time just what a unique way he way of viewing football. After two difficult years, we were able to focus on football again.”
“You knew that you were dealing with a legend. I came from Real Sociedad, a physically strong team, and the change in training methods was massive because we trained with the ball from the very first day.”
“He made us run a different way. To run intelligently rather than a lot. I could tell that we were dealing with a very different kind of coach.”