Hendrik Johannes Cruyff was born on April 25, 1947 in Amsterdam and grew up near the stadium of AFC Ajax. As a young boy he caught the attention of team officials and at joined their youth divison at only 10 years of age. Two years after that, his mother also started working fot the club.

Cruyff, a first for everything

Cruyff made his debut for Ajax in 1964, and from 1966 to 1973 won six dutch Championships, three European Cups and two UEFA Super Cups. He was the first Dutch player to win the Ballon d’Or award as European Footballer of the Year in 1971.

Johan Cruyff dribbling

He then transferred to FC Barcelona in 1973 and won his second Ballon d’Or halfway through his first season in Spain, and became the first three time winner of the prestigious trophy the following year.

In 1974, Cruyff made his first and only World Cup appearance for the Netherlands and although they were defeated in the final, the Dutch playmaker was named the top player of the tournament.

Despite his two retirements, Cruyff never left the game behind entirely

He announced his retirement after the 1978 season, but resumed his career in the United States, playing for the Los Angeles Aztecs in 1979-1980, and the Washington Diplomats the following year. After an unsuccessful season with the Spanish club Levante UD he finished his career in the Netherlands playing two more seasons for Ajax and one with Feyenoord.

Cruyff will always be remembered as one of the best Dutch players to play the sport we love, football. After his retirement he went on to manage some of the greatest teams of the time, winning numerous awards.

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