“Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.” Cruyff
If you are a soccer fan then you may know that Johan cruyff needs no introduction so, I shall spare us the dry details of his background. Instead, we shall look upon the key contributions of this legend, strategies inspired by his deep understanding of the game and above all what we (Scorum users) can learn from him. Also, in an attempt to look a little bit philosophical I would unfold all this in the light of his own quotes.
" I find it terrible when talents are rejected based on computer stats. Based on the criteria at Ajax now I would have been rejected. "
In the world where larger physique was being worshipped, he was the one who was searching for talent and tactics. His ideas did not match with the conventional attitude of selections, where already known athletes were picked and brought to the soccer grounds for trainings. On contrary, he believed that the players with an understanding and skills of the game should be trained and turned into athletes. And, guess what, he was pretty much right about it. The dutch star and his ideas were one of the (if not the only) factor that we are familiar with the Barcelona’s soccer team, Ajax and the legendary brief-sized Messi. This lesson was from his own life experience, Cruyff joined Ajax when he was about 10 but, with an interest in baseball and was talked out by his mentors to go for soccer. He mentioned that when he was 15 he couldn’t kick a ball 15 meters with his left and 20 with his right but, it was his skills and talents which took him to what we witnessed.
" Choose the best player for every position, and you’ll end up not with a strong XI, but with 11 strong 1’s "
“Total Football” is arguably the most important strategy presented by Cruyff, for which he is known as “the innovator”. He suggested that one should not master a position but, the adaptability of each player in the team for any position. If an outfielder leaves his spot, the adjacent or followed up player should fill it in, which was very similar to the idea of electrons transport in an excited atom (I am not sure if he acquired it from here). Nonetheless, this puts a high pressure on the players, demands a certain level of understanding of each position and stamina. The stats validate the impact of this strategy with Ajax dominating two seasons (71-72) with losing only 1 match and pocketing a large number of European cups and Leagues. This led to the formulation of Cruyff’s “Dream Team” with the best mid-fielder of his time Pep Guardiola (current manager of Manchester City), who mastered the total football skill and the dream team brought the first European cup home (1992) and shocked the whole world. Netherlands and Real Madrid were the early adopters of this strategy and marked some victories with distinction.
In a nut shell, cruyff’s said “In my teams, the goalie is the first attacker, and the striker the first defender”
" There is only one ball, so you need to have it "
You got it right, possession of the ball during the match was one of the most emphasized aspect by the star. We have been watching this high possession trend by the Spanish teams for long now, which can sometimes go absurdly high. This basically introduced the raw concept of the famous “Tiki-Taka”, which well-matched with the total football scenario. He often said that he would pass the ball away and if it would return back to him, it meant that he was unmarked. The players were taught to get the possession and either make the ground open for themselves, find the unmarked player of the team or make sure that if opponent get the ball, it should be the worse player so they would get back easily. It certainly goes to the level of obsession rather than possession, an absolute domination.
That was all about the game kingdom, now lets see what actually inspired me to announce him as my favorite athlete and,
What can we learn from his perspectives?
In addition to team-work, strategy and integrity, here's a big one:
" Quality without results is pointless.
Results without quality is boring (Cruyff)"
For my stay in this beautiful platform “Scorum” that we can call our second home for thoughts and expression, I took an inspiration from this very quote.
The first part of the saying: “Quality without results is pointless” could be referred to the senior members of scorum, who have a responsibility to search quality posts and reward them. So, from time to time I try my best to interact with the new users and support them otherwise, it gets a little disappointing for the quality writers. The second part “Results without quality is boring” is also not a tough one to understand. For all writers (including myself), apart from boring i think it is even hard to enjoy, if results appear without delivering quality. Apparently, the members here are wise, intellectual and dedicated and this does not happen very often. Nonetheless, lets pay a tribute to the legend by adopting the passion and enthusiasm portrayed in his whole life.