5 Dutch footballers who played successfully for FC Barcelona
Barcelona are known to play a brand of very attractive football and their playing philosophy has been inspired by the “total football” originated in the Netherlands. Rinus Michels, the legendary Dutch coach who coached the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup, managed Barcelona for a few seasons too and influenced their playing style to a great extent.
Since then, a lot of Dutch footballers have played for Barca successfully and contributed significantly towards their success. Barca have traditionally attracted a lot of players from the Netherlands and those players have helped them gain their current clout and stature with their consistent performance for the club. We would now discuss 5 such footballers in this article.
#1 Johan Cruyff
Cruyff was a talismanic player for the Netherlands and Ajax Amsterdam in the early 1970s and helped those teams implement the philosophy of “total football” successfully. He won every possible honor while playing for Ajax and went to Barca in 1973.
Cruyff reunited with Rinus Michels at Barcelona and helped the club grow into a world-class outfit. Those two inculcated the possession-oriented playing style at Barca and made them the best club in Spain in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Cruyff played for Barcelona from 1978 to 1983 and scored 61 goals from 184 matches for them. He was a complete forward with brilliant dribbling and passing skills and used those qualities to win a LaLiga title for Barca. He left Barca in 1978, but left behind a great legacy there.
Cruyff then played his part as a manager at Barca and won 1 European Cup and 4 LaLiga titles with them. Cruyff coached Barca from 1988 to 1996 and had great players like Ronald Koeman, Pep Guardiola, Romario and Michael Laudrup in his “dream team”.
Barcelona lost to AC Milan in the European cup in 1994 and Cruyff stepped down as a manger after that. He also went on to become Barcelona’s sporting director later. He was also the director at La Masia, Barca’s academy for quite a while and helped them hone young talents. Cruyff is undoubtedly one of the most influential personalities in Barcelona’s diverse and rich history.