Cruyff, Johan, 1947–2016, Dutch soccer player. He played forward (1964–73) for the Dutch League's Amsterdam Ajax team, assuming a key role in their six league championships, four Dutch Cups, and three European Cups. In 1973 he was traded to the Barcelona, became its captain, and led it to the 1974 Spanish League championship. Cruyff later (1979–81) played for several teams in the North American Soccer League and ended his playing career with Ajax in 1982. A three-time winner (1971, 1973–74) of the European footballer of the year title, he was known for his versatile and intelligent play and his advocacy of
total football,in which players constantly pass the ball, interchanging roles as the situation changes, a style that influenced the worldwide game. After retirement he coached at both Ajax and Barcelona. In 1999 he was named the best player in Europe in the 20th century.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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