JOHAN CRUYFF (R.I.P) and FUTSAL
Post from DougReedFutsal for 04/07/2016
Johan Cruyff was one of the greatest players and coaches in the history of football. His impact is still felt today through the FC Barcelona side of recent times, described as the best ever seen. He has been credited for putting the foundations for their success whilst Head Coach at the club in the early 1990s. In the obituaries following his death there were numerous tributes written that covered this and his other achievements.
However, what wasn’t mentioned in any of these was his relationship with, and appreciation for, the game of futsal and the possible impact it had on him. He described the game, in an interview exclusively on futsal, as “spectacular”.
The intricate style employed by the current FC Barcelona football team has been said to resemble futsal; the utilisation of short passing, playing in between the defensive lines, using positional rotations, deploying constant switches of play to attack the weak side of the defence, high pressing to set up quick counter attacks and the fact that they have players who both manipulate the ball with the sole of the foot and use the toe poke finish.
The source of many of these concepts is the philosophy implemented by Cruyff while he was coaching the Barcelona squad that would become known as the “Dream Team” in the 1990’s. Of that side, Cruyff said “it appears that FC Barcelona play futsal on a big pitch.” The current side is an evolution of the style he first introduced. As Pep Guardiola said during his tenure leading the team “Cruyff built the cathedral, our job is to maintain and renovate it.”
Cruyff’s ideas were formed through the experiences he had during his career and the constant questioning and analysis that formed an innate part of his character. Some of those experiences involved futsal. He was always a fan of the game, playing futsal throughout his career in Holland, Spain and USA. After his retirement from playing, his relationship with futsal didn’t stop as he continued to play occasionally and regularly watched the game on television.
Talking about their style at the time Cruyff said ”I think everyone should be able to play in all the different positions on the field.” He went on to say that “the special thing about the Dutch team is movement. Everyone moves. That’s the basis of it.” These characteristics are also critical in futsal where constant movement and inter-changing of positions are used to find and create space; something which is at a premium in the 5-a-side game. With such success playing in this way early in his career it is no wonder he was such a futsal enthusiast.
Johan (Hendrik Johannes) Cruyff, footballer & futsal enthusiast, born 25 April 1947; died 24 March 2016.
LONDON CANADIAN FUTSAL LEAGUE & CLUB pays tribute to this great soccer player not only for his contribution to the sports of Soccer and Futsal but also for his beautiful displays of play given for our eyes to enjoy.