On 24 March 2016, FC Barcelona and the football world were stunned by news of the death of Johan Cruyff. Three years have passed since then but his influence on coaches and players all around the planet lives on.
His arrivals at Barça, both as a player and later as a manager, were turning points in the club’s history. In honour of that, a series of talks have been held this week to tell the boys and girls in the club’s academy about his legacy and the way he transformed the methodology used from at every level of the club’s training system.
Boys from U9 to U19 and girls from U12 to Barça B have been learning about Johan Cruyff in sessions that have been going on since Monday in the Masia auditorium, consisting of three audiovisual pieces and talks with staff members that had the honour of working under the Dutchman in their playing days. The first video is of Cruyff as a player, the second is of him as Barça manager and the third looks at his training and game methodologies, what we now know of as the Barça DNA.
Guillermo Amor and Jordi Roura, who played under Cruyff, and academy staff members Aureli Altimira and Markel Zubizarreta, were the people whose task was to express what the great man meant to the club and how he made Barça a benchmark in this sport. They also described how his basic ideas regarding possession, combinations play, pressing and recovery, plus the idea of always using the ball in training and how his innovative ‘rondo’ exercise are all part of the his influence on the way football is taught, practiced and played.
A continuación, una vez proyectados los videos, Guillermo Amor y Jordi Roura, que fueron jugadores del técnico holandés, o los responsables del fútbol formativo, Aureli Altimira y Markel Zubizarreta, han sido los encargados de transmitir lo que representó Cruyff en los éxitos y el estilo de juego que ha hecho del Barça un referente en el mundo, y que ha evolucionado en los últimos años a partir de los principios básicos de su filosofía futbolística, como la posesión, la combinación, la presión o la recuperación, a más de metodologías, como los entrenadores con balón o el rondo, que forman parte del día a día de los jugadores y sus equipos.
Director Xavier Vilajoana, the board member responsible for youth football and La Masia, also took part in some of these sessions, speaking about his important Cruyff was to the club and why his name was chosen for the new stadium at the Ciutat Esportiva, which will ready for opening very soon. The future temple of the Barça youth system will be used for Barça B, Barça Women and UEFA Youth League games from next season.
On Sunday, in recognition of the third anniversary of his death, the club will be releasing a video about Cruyff’s contribution and ongoing influence on FC Barcelona, and most particularly, its youth system.More news here