Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff: I almost joined Real Madrid
Legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff has claimed that he would have played for Real Madrid other than Barcelona if Ajax had gone about with their plans in 1973. Cruyff joined Barcelona and went on to become not only one of the most iconic players at Nou Camp but also a top notch coach.
Ajax, the 33 Eredivisie title winners, were willing to let go of their star performer at that time and favoured the Madrid giants in order to get a profitable deal. However, Cruyff chose the Catalonian giants for new challenges and then went on to make history at the club.
The 67-year-old revealed this in a documentary on TV3, "I remember my move to Spain was quite controversial. People said I was going to a fascist country. The president of Ajax wanted to sell me to Real Madrid,"
"I was born shortly after the war, though, and was taught not to just accept anything. Barcelona weren't at the same level as Madrid – football wise, but it was a challenge to play for a Catalan club. Barcelona was more than a club," he concluded.
The Dutch forward went on to win the La Liga title in 1973-74 season and also the Copa del Rey in 77-78. Cyruff left Spain in 1978 and moved to LA Aztecs the following year. However, the former Ajax man returned as a coach in 1988 to Camp Nou and helped Barca to capture four La Liga titles and also an European Cup in 1991-92 season.