The ever-diplomatic Johan Cruyff had a few choice words for Real Madrid in his press conference ahead of the Catalunya – Nigeria match:
“My Spanish vocabulary is not that large, but I can say that it’s a disgrace to be 16 points behind Barcelona.”
Image: Josep Lago [AFP/Getty]
This Thursday, Catalunya national team coach Johan Cruyff announced his squad for early January’s match against Nigeria. Ten Barça players have made the squad (the most from any individual club): Valdés, Montoya, Piqué, Puyol, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Xavi, Tello, and Sergi Roberto. Cesc will not take part due to his injury. The match will take place at the Cornellà-El Prat stadium on January 2, 2013 at 19:00.
The squad list was presented during an event at the Old Estella Damm factory featuring the president of the Federació Catalana de Futbol (Catalan Federation of Football), Andreu Subies, and coach Johan Cruyff.
Today we want to share with you a documentary from 2004 about Johan Cruyff. Thirteen people from Barcelona talk about the most important moment Cruyff has given them, including moments in which he surprised them, made them angry, or made them wild with enthusiasm. The film is also about the search for Catalan identity and independence through the past decades and the important role Cruyff played, being almost a saint for the Catalans. Even some of his expressions (like ‘en un momento dado’, which means ‘at a given moment’ and is a literal translation from the Dutch) have now been incorporated in the Spanish language. Johan Cruyff himself participated in this documentary about his life, for the first time since the seventies, and he also talks about his own special moment.
The 23 players from the Dutch football team, who are stationed in Poland for the UEFA Euro 2012, pooled in money to set up a Johan Cruyff football court in Primary School 93 in Bronowice, Krakow. Radio Netherlands reports that “high-rise concrete buildings abound and so do children apparently [in Bronowice]. There are 6,000 of them, who have to make do with just three playgrounds.” But thanks to a fenced football pitch - 42mx28m – the kids now also have an artificial turf to play on. The official statement from the Holland squad said that it “wishes to leave a tangible legacy to the local community and offer children a safe spot close to home where they can play football.” And who better to name it after other than Holland and Barca football icon Johan Cruyff. The Orange Cruyff Court in Krakow is the 158th of its kind and the 22nd outside the Netherlands.
Netherlands kick off their Euro campaign in Kharkiv,
Poland Ukraine facing Denmark on June 9.
“Messi (is better) because he’s in love with the ball, he’s pure technique and he’s a good kid.”
Johan Cruyff weighs in on the Messi vs. Ronaldo debate.
Source: Soccerway; Image Credit: JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
There are few mentoring relationships in football as genuine and unwavering as Johan Cruyff and Josep Guardiola. Cruyff’s support for Guardiola’s decision to step aside therefore comes as no surprise. Particularly since Cruyff himself knows of the emotional and physical strain that comes with being a manager of a club like FC Barcelona, suffering a heart attack while in the job himself.
“I think it’s good because it is a consuming task. Work has been done extremely well and it takes strength to continue, especially in a very difficult time because there are changes. Everyone lives as he likes and Guardiola has taken the decision after a lengthy period and now takes a rest and I think it’s well deserved.”
Sandro Rosell and Johan Cruyff may have well-publicized disagreements and different points of view, but the great Dutchman has supported the appointment of Tito Vilanova as the next head coach of FC Barcelona.
Despite initially stating that he is not certain if the departure of Pep Guardiola will mark the end a special era, as only in years to come with the results and trophies can the four-year reign be judged, Cruyff gave his vote of approval to Barca’s new manager. “Barca has a different [football] philosophy to which other coaches refer to,” said Cruyff. ”Coaches are not the most important choice, those are the players, as they are the ones that play, that win and lose. But, the coach does need to see football in the same way [as the players]. Because of this Tito Vilanova, if he wants to try, could be an excellent solution for the bench of FC Barcelona.”
Source: El Mundo Deportivo; Photo credit: Sport.es
Former FC Barcelona player and manager and Dutch legend Johan Cruyff will act as consultant to Mexican side Guadalajara, which currently languishes at the bottom of the Clausura championship. The hiring of Cruyff is an initiative on part of the club’s wealthy president, Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara, to change the club’s dwindling fortunes.
Hugo Benitez/El Flaco wrote an excellent piece on the Swedish football site SvenskaFans describing the story of how our Club came to play in its characteristic way. From the very start, the style was thanks to a man named Laureano Ruiz. With the author’s permission, totalBarça has translated his great piece, which can be found below. The original article, in Swedish, can be found here.
On the eve of his team’s match against Tunisia at the Lluis Companys Stadium, in Montjuïc, Johan Cruyff, Catalunya’s coach, appeared on Catalunya Radio to say that with over 30,000 tickets sold “the aim is to give a show so the people that come can have a good time,” and he thanked the gesture of the players who are willing to “come without pay as a treat, and all because they love their country.”
totalbarca brings to you a translation of an exclusive interview Johan Cruyff gave to Sport.es, which was published today. The original version can be found here.
Johan Cruyff never hides his feelings, be it good or bad. His thoughts are usually laced with a tinge of genius and his opinions are seen as commandments by many inside the club. A very close friend of Guardiola, a die-hard supporter of Laporta and the ‘alma mater’ of the Dream Team, Cruyff keeps on contributing his magisterial doses of football to those who still want to listen and learn from him a little of the twists and turns of the game we call football.
“Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are truly exceptional players. But it all depends on how you view the game. The way I look at it, Xavi deserves it not because he’s the best, but because he’s the type of player whose hard work allows others to come to the fore.”
Barca legend Johan Cruyff explains why the FIFA Ballon d’Or should go to the Catalan club’s majestic midfielder, Xavi.
Former Barca player and manager Johan Cruyff reflected on Barça’s brilliant performance in FIFA Club World Cup in Yokohama, Japan, which saw the Catalan club win the championship for the second time. As the guest star on TV3 show Hat Trick Barça, Cruyff highlighted the importance of manager Pep Guardiola in the team once more. According to Cruyff, the secret ingredient that keeps Pep at Barça is the passion and the happiness that surrounds the dressing room. An extract of the interview can be found here.
The Guardian has reported that Johan Cruyff, former player and manager of FC Barcelona, is set to “lose his role on the supervisory board at Ajax,” the Dutch club where he first shone as a player and later took on as manager. The Ajax members’ council gave a vote of no confidence to the five-man board, which along with Cruyff also includes Edgar Davids, Steven ten Have, Paul Romer and Marjan Olfers. The turbulent state of affairs at Ajax emerged after a dispute between Cruyff and four other members of the board over the appointments of Louis van Gaal, Danny Blind and Martin Sturkenboom as directors of Ajax. Cruyff said that he and 10 club coaches will take legal action because the board did not consult him about a major appointment. In a detailed story on ESPN Soccernet, you can read about the saga unfolding at Ajax and how at the centre of it are two people with two diverse philosophies: Cruyff and van Gaal.
After the defeat against Getafe, many culés felt insecure about the future ahead. But there are others that trust the team and know they will overcome any challenge, even this one. Some known sports personalities shared their thoughts at El Mundo Deportivo and explained why we should all have faith. Here are some of their words.
Exactly 38 years ago, on this day, Johan Cruyff debuted in la Liga as an FC Barcelona player in a game versus Granada CF (4-0). The three-time Ballon d’Or winner (1971, 1973 and 1974), one of the most famous exponents of the football philosophy known as total football, is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Johan Cruyff joined FC Barcelona as a superstar, but in the Catalan city he became a living legend. After his retirement from playing in 1984, Cruyff became highly successful as manager of Ajax and later FC Barcelona. In 1999, Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century in an election held by the IFFHS, and came second behind Pelé in their World Player of the Century poll.
Johan Cruyff gave a mammoth interview to El Peridico in which he discussed topics such as Rosell’s presidency and Barca under Guardiola. Yesterday we presented you part of the interview. Here is the concluding part in which he looks at Real Madrid’s changed avatar under Mourinho and also shares his views on the new signings. The original can be found here. The first part can be read here.
The following is a translation of the first part of a question and answer session with Johan Cruyff published in El Periodico. The original can be found here.
A year ago, you returned the insignia of honorary president [of FC Barcelona]. Afterwards, you had a meeting with [Sandro] Rosell to try to fix things, but the distance continues and you have not returned to the Camp Nou.
No, no I haven’t once been back to the stadium. It’s just that, on an institutional level, I like very few things that they do. I don’t see a path and there are strange things [going on]. For example, last year they sold [Dmytro] Chygrynskiy for 15 million because they said they could not even pay his wages and now they have spent nearly 70 million because they will likely pay nearly every variable, in two signings [Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fábregas]. If you say there is no money, it is because there is none, and you must accept that, but this does not seem very consistent.
Since becoming coach of FC Barcelona, Pep Guardiola seldom gives interviews. This spring was an exception when he gave Dutch magazine ‘Helden’ that very rare chance. It was for a special issue dedicated to Cruyff in which he was asked on what he can recall about that famous day when FC Barcelona under the Dutchman won its first European Cup final, at Wembley. The original article can be found here.
Pep Guardiola recalling, in detail, his day on May 20th, 1992, from breakfast to the celebrations.
Barcelona’s legend Johan Cruyff yesterday shared his thoughts with Sport.es on the club’s qualification for the 28th May UCL final at Wembley. Below is a translation of that interview.
Today, April 25th, Barça’s legendary player and coach of the ‘Dream Team’, Johan Cruyff, turns 64.
An excerpt about the Dutchman from the ‘mythical players’ section on FC Barcelona’s website reads:
In the past several years, tactical, defensive football gained an upper hand over beautiful football. But when everyone else gave up hope, there is one team that refused to understand that you cannot win titles with beautiful football anymore. In the end however, their long patience and belief in beautiful football made them the world’s best and most loved club.
“[Johan] Cruyff at Barcelona created something, a new revolution…
It took so many years for people to understand Cruyff at Barcelona because the first season he got there he didn’t use an attacking player up front. There were people on the wings up front and up until then he was the only one in history to do that.
He played to his style and made the other teams adapt. It means you control the game.”
Speaking at a press conference today, FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell spoke on a number of issues that have been major discussion points during his presidency so far. Below are his thoughts on everything from the renewal of Guardiola and Alves to his relationship with Cruyff and the new shirt sponsorship deal. The original posts from which this is transcribed can be found here and here.