Tuesday August 13 marks the 40th anniversary of the Dutchman's arrival in Barcelona Cruyff was European Player of the Year in 1971, 1973 and 1974
Johan Cruyff signed for FC Barcelona in August 1973 after prolonged negotiations between the club and Ajax Amsterdam and which were mainly settled thanks to the efforts of Armand Carabén. In his first season at Barça, the Dutch striker made it patently clear that it had been worth all that hard work to bring the player to Catalonia. His intelligent play, superb skill and leadership helped FC Barcelona to the 1973/74 league title, thus ending a 14 year drought.
The Flying Dutchman
He will always be remembered for some incredible goals for Barcelona, including the stunning one against Atlético Madrid at the Camp Nou, and which earned him the moniker of the ‘Flying Dutchman’. He was also the star of the famous 5-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu in February 1974.
Sadly, his performances in the seasons after that were not quite as spectacular, and the only further trophy he won at Barça was the Copa del Rey in 1977/78. He left FC Barcelona in 1978.
But in 1988 he was back, this time as manager and led the team to four consecutive Liga titles, and in May 1992 to the club’s first ever European crown at Wembley. Having created what was known as the ‘Dream Team’, which amazed the world with its beautiful style in the early 1990s, he left the position in 1996.