Video: Barcelona pay beautiful tribute to Johan Cruyff on the anniversary of his death
The football world reeled in shock when Johan Cruyff died on 24 March 2016 after he lost his battle with lung cancer. The Barcelona, Ajax and Netherlands legend was 68 and had been on the road to recovery before his condition deteriorated.
One of the masters of the modern game and the pioneer of Total Football, it was Barcelona who benefited the most from Cruyff’s wisdom – both as a player and as a manager. Having played for Barcelona between 1973 and 1978, he mesmerised the crowds at the Camp Nou with his skills on the ball.
But his finest stint with the club came when he took to management. Between 1988 and 1996, he overhauled the system at the club and made them a force to be reckoned with. He won four La Liga titles in a row and a Champions League trophy with Barca’s ‘Dream Team’ which had the likes of Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Romario and Hristo Stoichkov.
The club’s famous youth academy – La Masia – was also his brainchild. It laid the foundations for the club to produce the best talents and the fruits of their labour were realised when Barcelona dominated Spain and Europe for a decade – winning four Champions League titles from 2006 to 2015.
This video released by Barcelona encapsulates everything about Cruyff’s impact at the club and what he means to them. As they say so themselves, he was the “soul” of the club and they will be ever grateful to him.
It depicts his career path – first as a player at the club, then as a manager and finally as a coach for youth players. And it ends with the beautiful choreography at the Camp Nou (one that spanned all tiers) that thanked him for his contributions to the club with a simple message – Gracies Johan.