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Discussion in 'Players & Legends' started by PuckVanHeel, Dec 10, 2011.
Next part will be the last part.
This was the last part. I hope it was informative. Both interviews together cover a lot and if some more details are interesting, the earlier mentioned book is a good starting point.
I will not post new updates for a few weeks in this thread but I'll continue eventually.
Someone posted the video on youtube a few weeks ago which has almost every highlight of the 1970-1973 years.
It has also relatively rare highlights of the away game against Bayern Munich in 1973, the unofficial Super Cup in 1972 and a few more such as the highlights ofboth Sofia matches in 1972, which are also quite rare.
The rare highlights of the home match against Arsenal in 1972 show a moment where Cruijff almost replicates the 'ghost goal' he would make later on in his career Almost, because the attempt did not count.
I just noticed it today.
La Liga: 03/04/1977 --- Barcelona 2-1 Real Zaragoza
Headline: “Victory with little history”
“Even in victory Barcelona once again showed that they are a shadow of that team that exhibited good moments of football in the league. The victory has been clear and well-deserved but it’s been sad knowing that all is virtually over”
Neeskens set up Clares for the first goal in the 14th minute with a cross.
Victor leveled the game at 1-1 in the 29th minute.
“Cruyff with little help from his teammates, did remarkable things”
With 5 minutes to go in the first half, he sent Olmo’s through for the goal that would result in being the match-winner.
“In a match that was played at a mediocre level, only Cruyff’s prodigious football illuminated the game”
“Neeskens was valuable due to the energy and strength that he brought”
Michels: “Without goals there is no tranquility”
Summary: 1 assist
La Liga: 10/04/1977 --- Valencia 0-1 Barcelona
Headline: “Comfortable victory against an opponent that is in a state of decomposition”
“Barcelona won easily. Witnessing this Valencia side play is sad, a team with no spirit, illusion, heart, very poor”
The game was decided in the first minute when Asensi scored, assisted by Carreno.
From then on only a shot from Kempes off the post is what Valencia had to offer.
“Tirapu was again assigned to mark Johan, which is common when these two teams meet”
“This time Michels tactically played the game well”
“The game was a poor spectacle, with only some fine pass or individual play from Cruyff, but nothing else”
“The game was so boring that the fans threw things on to the pitch. Cruyff was jeered throughout and torpedoed with bottles thrown at him by the home fans”
Michels: “We won on our own merit”
Wow, great thread. I was able to see Cruyff play live a few times at RFK stadium in Washington DC. My family had been living abroad for a few years, but our return to DC coincided with Cruyff's two month return to the Washington Diplomats in the summer of 1981, between Levante and his successful return to Ajax.
In person, Cruyff "blew my mind." What was most striking wasn't just his outstanding technical ability, but the mind behind it. The "Pythagoras in boots" aspect to his play, and the "geometry" of the passes that he chose to make, as perfectly stated in the "Total Voetballer" article linked in this thread.
Anyway, the link below describes a goal Cruyff scored at a game I attended in July of 1981, and how Cruyff in the locker room at halftime, while smoking, described to a teammate how he planned to score it.
To give more detail than the article, Cruyff received the ball inside the center circle at the middle of the field, with two defenders closing in on him. He took a couple of touches to unbalance both of them one at a time, and then took a very long shot when he was still close to the halfway line. A very spectacular goal.
19/04/1977 --- PSG 1-1 Barcelona [friendly]
Headline: “Failure to capitalize”
“Cruyff once again the star”
“Barcelona wasted too many chances”
The goals were scored in the second half from Tokota and Cruyff.
“Cruyff has been the main attraction in the game with the spectators applauding his every dribble, pass, and his goal which was brilliant after volleying his shot from outside the box and placing it in the corner”
Michels: “We’ve committed too many errors”
PSG manager, Vasovic: “Seven years ago I was a teammate of Cruyff at Ajax. I find him different now compared to that time. He’s less selfish and individual and he’s lost some speed, but his vision on the floor is unmatched. I’m disappointed with this Barca team; they haven’t played well and they depend too much on Cruyff”
Match was played in France.
Summary: 1 goal
La Liga: 24/04/1977 --- Barcelona 4-0 Celta de Vigo
Headline: “Barca’s dreams for the title is still possible”
“With the defeat of Atletico, Barca is only two points away and three points from the lead”
“Barca won easily against Celta. The difference between the two teams is enormous. Many open seats in the stadium which explains the little interest of the match. It was one of the most tranquil matches, knowing that the opponent is vastly inferior and fighting to survive in the first division”
“Cruyff was man-marked by the young debutant, Jorge Santome, who shadowed him everywhere. But Cruyff played a great game as a conductor”
“At times he tended to drift more into his own half as another defender, but perhaps it was unnecessary”
Celta fought as well as they could but they were clearly outclassed.
Minute 5: From 35 meters out, Carreno’s shot could not be stopped by GK Fenoy. 1-0
Minute 7: GK Fenoy blocked Heredia’s shot, but Neeskens followed up the play to score. 2-0
Minute 35: Clares, after taking the ball from a defender, lobs GK Fenoy from far out. 3-0
Minute 56: Neeskens sends in a cross, the GK misjudges it, and Clares heads in the 4th. 4-0
Cruyff was subbed out at the 84th minute.
Cruyff turned 30-years-old the day after that match.
La Liga: 01/05/1977 --- Real Sociedad 0-0 Barcelona
Headline: “A point lost”
“Cruyff got injured in the first half and couldn’t continue in the second. His injury hampered Barca’s offensive possibilities”
“Barcelona played too conservatively”
“With this draw, the chances at the title is virtually over”
“With Barcelona forced to win, Michels had his team play with caution. He failed to understand what was at stake. Perhaps he didn’t have confidence in his team and realized that their best chance was to defend and hope for a counterattack that would win them the match”
Everything went downhill when Cruyff got injured in the 25th minute when Gorriti bumped into him and hurt Cruyff’s left knee. For the rest of the half Cruyff hobbled and rarely intervened in play and was then substituted at the half.
“The spectacle was disappointing”
“Barcelona without their captain for the second half was able to obtain a point, but which is insufficient at this stage of the league”
Michels: “The draw is a triumph. Cruyff is important when he’s healthy, but hobbling on the pitch like that, I felt the obligation to substitute him”
Cruyff would recover and be ready to play in the next game.
I found out the line-up of Ajax in match against Spanish NT 08-06-66
Bals - Suurbier, Pronk, Soetekouw, Meyer - Prins, Muller - Nuninga, Cruijff, Groot, van Duivenbode
No subs were made. Goals were scored by Cruijff (5') and Prins (54'). Spanish goal was by Zaldua.
Spain played with two different line-ups. Most impressive ajax players were left defender Mejer, left midfielder Prins, right inside Nuninga and left inside Groot
The second goal (Cruyff) - after good work of Keizer
The fourth goal (Keizer) - assist Cruijff (http://kranten.kb.nl/view/article/id/ddd:010373184:mpeg21:p005:a0096)
La Liga: 08/05/1977 --- Barcelona 4-2 Espanyol
Headline: “Easy victory, but La Liga is over”
“Barcelona won with clarity and easily, but Atletico’s victory on the road in Zaragoza puts them one point away from winning the title”
“Espanyol rarely battled and Barcelona rarely combated. Both teams looked mechanical and lacked enthusiasm”
“Cruyff was not in the best shape, still in pain due to the injury suffered the week before. He fought hard, but made mistakes which are not common in him. He re-aggravated his injury and had to be subbed off in the 65th minute. But by then Barcelona were up 4-1”
The first goal of the match occurred in the 20th minute when Cruyff sent in a swerving cross which was misjudged by the GK and Clares connected to score.
14 minutes later Espanyol equalized through Maranon, although he may have been offside.
Towards the end of the half Clares put Barcelona ahead again, after Neeskens had deflected the ball with his head. 2-1.
Clares also missed a PK, when Neeskens had been fouled but the shot hit the crossbar.
After the half Asensi ran onto a pass by Carreno and shot past the GK. 3-1
In the 64th minute Cruyff sent Asensi through to score the 4th goal. 4-1.
With one minute to go, Cuesta scored for Espanyol. 4-2.
Indignation with Cruyff. He stepped on an opponent and Ferrer insulted him. Ferrer said: “If the foul would have been the other way around, we would have had our player sent off. But since it is Cruyff and at the Camp Nou, the refs protect Barcelona.”
Michels: “Cruyff has played under pressure and hasn’t trained all week. He’s still affected by the injury. After we went ahead 4-1, there was no need to continue to play him.”
Espanyol’s manager, Santamaria: “The 4th goal of Barcelona was an infraction by Cruyff. As for Cruyff, injured or not, he’s still the genius that imposes his presence”
Summary: 2 assists
La Liga: 15/05/1977 --- Elche 0-0 Barcelona
Headline: “More enthusiasm than good football”
“The ref disallowed two legitimate goals, each from both sides”
The new stadium in Elche accommodates 40.000 spectators but only 22.000 showed up.
"Barcelona dominated most of the play, approximately 60 minutes of the match. They ran, fought with enthusiasm but failed to earn a win."
“Cruyff hobbled into the game since the moment he left the hotel. After 20 minutes he withdrew back into his own half, clearly hampered by his injuries, and his absence from important areas on the pitch obviously alleviated the pressure off the opponent, especially his marker Cortes. At halftime, he was substituted.”
“Cruyff’s injury will require around 1 month of recuperation.”
Michels: “We put all the effort. Cruyff is not doing well and is suffering from injury and it was not worth forcing him to play in the second half.”
That was the last game of La Liga in that season. But there would be a few more matches 1 month later in a friendly competition which featured Cruyff. I will address them soon.
Thank you for this perspective.
Cruijff said in the interview mentioned above, when he turned 50, the following about this period in Washington. I ommitted that section but this is what he said:
Other interview, more than 10 years later (2008):
It is this source isn't it?
Thank you for reminding me that I had this one incomplete. It is indeed true that he also assisted the fourth goal, and the third one too. So, he had one goal and two assists. I met indeed difficulties in verifying this game, as the report you quoted reveals. But since then I was able to find out a bit more.
I'll now start with the official 83/84 season. I will cover all matches against the upper sides of the table and also the European matches and the Cup final. I will also look at further international friendlies. Videos with short highlights against other sides that are on tape will be uploaded too.
670. 04/09/1983 --- Haarlem – Feyenoord 0:1
Headline: Haarlem misses a finisher
Cruijff was lined up as central midfielder in this match and Gullit played as right-winger in the line-up but was not really fixed at that place.
Haarlem played strict man-marking with Huyg as guard of striker Houtman, Verkaik as guard of Gullit and Nijholt had the honour to nullify Cruijff. Haarlem succeeded in their approach and Cruijff himself admitted afterwards that "their trainer did a good job today, very clever tactics".
Reporter: "The playmaker of Rotterdam [Cruijff] got the allowance to only show a few times his class, and only his often praised subtle passing struck the eye."
National team coach Rijvers, who was controversial because of his problematic relationship with almost everyone who had a relevant position in the domestic game, was not happy with what he saw.
Nevertheless, it was a move of Gullit that decided the game in the 68th minute. He assisted striker Houtman, the league topscorer of the 1982/1983 season. It stayed 0:1, although Gullit himself wasted 15 minutes later an enormous chance to widen the gap. Haarlem goalkeeper Edward Metgod (do not confuse him with his brother) broke his arm while stopping the attempt. He stopped the attempt with one arm and collided with Gullit less than a second afterwards.
This somewhat mythical, but true, anecdote is sometimes with a bit of fantasy used to underline the sheer strength of Gullit. Whether there is really a relationship between both phenomena is highly debatable but Metgod broke his arm - that is true.
672. 14/09/1983 --- St. Mirren (SCO) – Feyenoord 0:1 [EC-3, 1st rnd]
Headline: Poor game
This was a relatively weak opponent and Mirren manager McFarlane put his team in the underdog role. About Cruijff in particular he said: "It is an honour that this great mind will play in our stadium. Despite his advanced age of 36, he still shows sometimes great things which brings back memories about his heydays in the early 70s. He is still more than a fine football player."
Although the game was not good, Feyenoord did create a freight-load of chances. Cruijff was directly involved in three of them: a pass on Gullit, a free-kick to the head of Houtman which was headed on the crossbar and a cross to Houtman.
"Cruijff had a lot of freedom to move around and used it. He had difficulties though with the wet, wobbling and slippery pitch. It affected his balance and his passes slipped through at times."
Gullit scored the only goal in the 29th minute. He set up the attack, got the ball back from Hoekstra and - most remarkable - he finished with his weak left foot.
673. 18/09/1983 --- Ajax – Feyenoord 8:2
Goalscorers: Houtman, Duut
Headline: Thunderous performance of Ajax
Feyenoord made a crucial calculation error when they decided that Olsen was no threat. Olsen had problems with his ankle and Feyenoord coach Libregts thought that Olsen would be very ineffective. The opposite was true: Olsen used the space he got to great effect and was together with Van Basten (three goals) the star of the match. It resulted in the biggest win ever of Ajax against their long-time rivals, a record that still stands.
Feyenoord scored two goals; Gullit and Houtman were the assisters.
The assisters at the side of Ajax were: Vanenburg (2:0), Olsen (3:0; 4:2), Ophof (6:2), Van Basten (7:2), Molby (8:2).
It was a painful loss for Cruijff and his men which created questions as: 'Was this the Waterloo of Cruijff?' and statements as 'A bridge too far'. Or less polite: 'Cruijff thought that he was bigger than the club'.
Cruijff his reaction was this: "You do not win championships by getting an advantage of two points. I still think we can win and we are better as a team. And Gullit plays usually better, except today. Yes, this was another difficult loss but it is just one match."
He also admitted that he did not play good. His praise for the opposition went to Van Basten: "An extremely good one. His best attribute is that he learns very quick and has the rare ability that he can improve his weak aspects, which everyone has, very quick. Where he will end is unknown, a lot of things can happen in the life of a football player but his ability to suck up every valuable piece of information is for sure his best quality, and a rare ability to that extent. He is already very advanced at the age of 19 I have to say."
675. 28/09/1983 --- Feyenoord – St. Mirren (SCO) 2:0 [EC-3, 1st rnd]
Goalscorers: Van Til, Zhelyazkov
Headline: A good win but not without setbacks
The headline refers to two things in particular: the red card of libero and organizer Van de Korput after a retaliation on McDougall (who received a red card too) and the injury of defender Duut which had as interesting effect that Gullit played as stopper for about 40 minutes.
The win was quite easily achieved, the 1:0 came in the 59th minute by Van Til and the 2:0 was assisted by the same man, Zhelyazkov scored in the 78th minute. Gullit and Houtman scored too but both attempts were ruled offside.
Cruijff played a good game and "was the solution for moments when a breakthrough was difficult." His job was to bring "cohesion between the three lines." His "insight remains a valuable attribute although it is not always understood by his team mates."