After this past week went by at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Johan Cruyff’s spirit was smiling from heaven due to the victories of Ajax and Barcelona.
The whole time that Johan Cruyff lives his life was meant to deliver moments like the ones that took place last this past week at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, three matches against Real Madrid that his two beloved clubs played in three different competitions.
The outcome of these games is already known around the world, but the way in which Los Blancos lost is something that would’ve made Johan very happy if he was still with us.
The Dutch legend worked incessantly throughout his life in order to change the way in which both Ajax and FC Barcelona played football, they have placed systems from the youth academy all the way to their first squads that make sure a prototype of player is produced.
The Amsterdam club is the one that has been doing for a longer period of time, but FC Barcelona is the club that has perfected this whole method and taken it to a whole different dimension in the last decade.
We can’t take any credit from the Ajax regardless, they have made sure to produce several of the best Dutch players in modern history that have marked a before and after in the Netherlands’ football history and this is due to Johan Cruyff’s philosophy.
— Johan Cruyff (@JohanCruyff) March 5, 2019
The vast majority of Holland’s best players in football history have come out of Ajax after Johan Cruyff paved the way, this football academy is actually competing to be named the most prolific in the history of this beautiful sport and they bring out players that play vastly different positions without discriminating.
This versatility in Ajax comes due to the ‘Total Football’ model that Rinus Michels imposed during the seventies alongside Johan Cruyff when he was still a player, young talents are taught to play different positions and excel at every single one of them without leaving their particular attributes on the side.
Midfielder Frenkie de Jong could play a more defensive role if he chose to, but he knows that he performs at his best when he plays like a more creative midfielder.
Matthijs de Ligt has a very similar connotation, we have a defender who plays in the middle but has the ability to play as a defensive midfielder if he wanted to due to his incredible skill with the ball at his feet.
These two lads offered a beautiful display at the Santiago Bernabeu last Tuesday, they made Johan Cruyff very proud because he always strived to defeat the club with the highest level of power through great football.
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) March 6, 2019
FC Barcelona’s case is slightly different, this is where Johan Cruyff found a niche that he decided to exploit since he arrived in Spain as a player for the Catalan club.
The Dutchman wholeheartedly believed that the Spaniards had the best raw skill to develop a style of football that could be perceived as elegant, time gave him the reason when players like Pep Guardiola, Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets started emerging from the Catalan club’s academy.
Lionel Messi is a separate example because he didn’t only have the Barcelona school as he grew up, but he also possessed that specific Argentinean flavor that players such as Juan Roman Riquelme or Diego Maradona had during their prime.
Barring the first Copa del Rey match in which the Catalan club won through counter-attacks because that’s what the occasion needed, the other two matches were a complete ode to the late great Johan Cruyff and the legacy he left at both clubs.
Madridistas keep talking about Juanito’s spirit always being present at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the only spirit that visited Real Madrid’s stadium during all of last week was Johan Cruyff’s.
El alumno y el maestro.
Pep Guardiola y Johan Cruyff. pic.twitter.com/S7l26xxLDN
— Stegen (@StegenBAR) March 1, 2019
What do you think about the legacy that Johan Cruyff left to the world of football? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.