Jordi Cruyff pays a moving tribute to his late father Johan
Johan Cruyff's posthumous autobiography was presented at Camp Nou on Monday. "Without Johan, Barça would never have been leaders in the world of football", said Bartomeu.
Jordi Cruyff, former Barça player and son of the late Johan Cruyff, was one of the key figures in today's presentation of his father's posthumous autobiography Johan Cruyff 14 at Camp Nou's Auditori 1899. The world football community was left in shock when Johan Cruyff passed away on 24 March this year and the legend would have been very proud of way his son spoke of him at this morning's event.
The book: “Some things in the book surprised me. For example when jhe explained why he didn't go to the World Cup finals in Argentina in 1978. My mother was blamed a lot of times for that, but now what actually happened has been clarified. I would recommend that people read it. I was surprised because it was an issue which he never talked about at home”.
Universally loved: “I've realized what my dad meant to so many people. Even now, people come up to me and give me hug with a tear in their eye. He was everything to us, but for the rest of football fans he was important as well. We could never have imagined what he meant to other people and how respected and for so long. You have to die to be so loved.
It's a real surprise to see how loved my father is by people from all parts of the world. My father always loved catching up with his former players; some would come to chat football or for advice - those conversations were only supposed to last half an hour but would go on for hours and hours, he loved talking about football”.
One of the game's great thinkers: “My father was always thinking a little bit further ahead, he would always calculate things from head to tail. He would take a longer route to the training ground because he knew that the traffic lights were well synchronized. He really loved numbers and their significance. He only missed out on being Holland coach at a World Cup or European championships - he was close, but that just didn't happen”.
Barça: “He signed as a player during what was a difficult moment for the club and that showed that he didn't like things being too easy. Ajax really looked after him when his father died and it was here that he became the player he was, a coach, a father and a grandfather”.
Disputes: “He would always be having arguments with directors. He felt that footballing decisions should be made by football people. He thought that directors should understand that the most important thing about the club was the team. And he could never understand why every decision that was taken had to pass through a filtering system. Today Ajax are listed on the stock exchange, everything has to be consulted, and that really irritated him”.
Having your father as a coach: “On a personal level, when I signed for Manchester United, I felt liberated from all of the pressure I was under at Barça. It was a difficult situation for me having the same person as a coach and my father at home.
Making the fans happy
“He always believed that once he had prepared for a game, he could relax. He liked to send out messages which could be easily understood by everyone. For him, Barça's DNA was about maintaining possession of the ball, playing the balla round well, scoring a goal more than the rivals and making the fans happy”.
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