Barcelona Delivers Heartfelt Tribute To Johan Cruyff On 3-Year Anniversary Of His Passing

Cruyff spent five years with the club as a player and eight as a manager.

On March 24, 2016, Johan Cruyff passed following a battle with lung cancer at the age of 68. As Gary Lineker said, football “lost a man who did more to make the beautiful game beautiful than anyone in history.” He revolutionized two of the game’s most storied clubs, Ajax and Barcelona (also the LA Aztecs), but his impact is still being felt around the globe. 

Cruyff embodied the concept of “Total Football” — the idea of a team with the ability to interchange positions while still retaining organizational structure. Such was Cruyff’s vision, tactical nous and ability to interpret space that he could’ve played virtually anywhere on the pitch and still have been the game’s best player.

“Technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1,000 times,” said Cruyff. “Anyone can do that by practicing. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your teammate.”

The principles that he introduced are now standard throughout the world, a truly staggering testament to a man who once said “Winning is an important thing, but to have your own style, to have people copy you, to admire you, that is the greatest gift.”

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