Johan Cruyff's 'Soccer Tips' From 1980 Are Still Elegantly Apt


Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff died today at the age of 68. Known as one of the most brilliant players in history, Cruyff championed the kind of fluid play that would revolutionize the sport in the 1960s and '70s. Today, he is revered and remembered not just as an athlete, but also as a philosopher of the game, with his musings on the way soccer should be played being passed around online as much as goal videos or YouTube highlights of his famous “Cruyff Turn.”

The above excerpt shared by MLS reporter Pablo Maurer comes from a 1980 Washington Diplomats program. After long tenures with Ajax and Barcelona, Cruyff joined other world soccer stars to play in the NASL (North American Soccer League) in 1979. His advice here may be intended for young fans learning to appreciate the game, but it also acts as a primer for “Total Football,” the brand of soccer he helped define and make famous while captaining the successful Netherlands “Clockwork Orange” teams of the 1960s and '70s.

To read the full Washington Diplomat's “Arthur Treacher’s Soccer Teacher” booklet, visit Fun While it Lasted.

For a visual example of what Cruyff was talking about, check out this video from the 1974 World Cup:

Banner image via Getty.