Following the news of Johan Cruyff’s death, NOS published a previous interview with current Bayern Munich manager and former Barcelona star Pep Guardiola speaking about Johan Cruyff.

  • By James Rowe

guardiolaWhen he was Barcelona coach, Guardiola said on Cruyff, “Johan is the most influential person in European football in the last 40 or 50 years there is no single person who has changed the mentality and style of play of two impressive clubs such as Ajax & FC Barcelona such as him. Johan made as massive contribution as a player and manager at both clubs.”

”The current Barcelona team that has dominated European and World football the last 15 years cannot be separated by the arrival of Johan Cruyff.

“Would we be able to understand the current Barcelona style of play without Cruyff? Impossible. Naturally we have players such as Messi , Xavi and Iniesta but they are attached to the idea that Johan Cruyff set up.

”There is nobody who has given so much as a player and a manager Johan changed the mentality of Barcelona and Catalonia and the Spanish league. He helped us to understand the game more.

”Yes we appreciate him for the trophies that he won us and there are also other managers that have won more in their career than him for example me, Capello, Sacchi and Mourinho we become judged on the trophies that we win but for him it is his legacy with his style of play that he set up.

”You come somewhere and introduce an idea and maintain it for 20 years that can only be the work of an absolute genius with a strong idea of where you want to go and even in the bad times to continue to play the same way.

”It is thanks to Johan Cruyff that Barcelona are where they are today also the influence that he had on me in my career as a footballer he was one of the most important people in my life on a professional level.

“He was generous in about thinking of others and dedicating his time to them in terms of his knowledge and opinion. I have been very lucky to have him as my manager and a friend ”.

James Rowe (696 Posts)