Without Cruyff, no Messi….

Cool book review: Graham Hunter’s “Barca: The Making of the Best Team in the World”.

Buy it now, at the UK Book Depository. Postage is FREE. See link on my home page 😉 and here….


If the 175,000 Barca socios would organise to massage his feet everyday, cook for him, carry him to his bed and caddy his clubs for him on the Montoya hill…even if they’d pay him 50% of their weekly wages….then still the debt the Barca fans would have to Johan Cruyff would not not have been paid off.

Graham Hunter published the book “Barca: the making of the greatest team in the world” this month and is on a quest to find the factors that made Barcelona such a tremendous success. From players to coaches to presidents to youth academy. An inspirational book…a football bible.

And his conclusion: without Cruyff, we would not have had Pep Guardiola, Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta… They would all have been judged too small, too vulnerable, too frail.

“This current Barca team also carriers the Cruyff DNA in their genes. The way they practice and train, the way they play…the way they feel that creative football and entertaining the crowd is as important as winning,” writes the English journo. Without Cruyff, the Barca Legend would not exist.

“Without Cruyff, no dream team. No dream team, no totall football. No tiki-taka, no Rijkaard, Laporta and without Cruyff and Rexach, Guardiola wouldn’t have made it into the first team.”

In 1989, it was Johan Cruyff who laid out the parameters for the La Masia Youth Academy. He restructured the way the youth was developed signicantly. Only 3-4-3 was allowed and the lads that were exceptional were put in teams of older boys to generate resilience.

The goal keeper was told to be pro-active as a field player, one-touch was introduced and forward pressing when the ball was lost. Ball possession and regain it fast once turned over was the key. And every player was told to gain the utmost ball control. The players were motivated to do tricks, to dribble and to try out things.

Hunter: “These elements are all still very current in Barca’s youth academy and led to the golden generation of the recent teams we’ve seen. And Spain’s European and World titles, in a final inwhich they ironically beat Holland, are made by Cruyff. Spanish football and Catalonian football owe their success to Johan Cruyff.”

The English Guardian published their top 100 of best players of 2012.

Lionel Messi is obviously number one, and his team mate Xavi is number 3. The eternal number 2 – C Ronaldo – is sandwiched between them. Robin van Persie is the best Dutch player on number 7. Iniesta, Ibrahimovic and Falcao are considered better players this year. The next Dutch name is to be found on 63: Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Sneijder and Robben made the top 100 as well.

Hot news from ESPN, Wesley Sneijder is about to sign for Tottenham Hotspur. The London based club pays 15mio euros for the little midfielder.

Barca youth team demonstrating the Dutch DNA

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  1. Awesome read Jan…

    Thanks for another great year of keeping all us Oranje bleeders up to date on all the latest news when it comes to Dutch football. without this great blog and all its contributors I would not be able to keep up to date anywhere near as much as I do and I know that every other person on this blog is just as greatful as I am…

    Thanks again Jan and to everyone else on the blog have a safe New Years and a fantastic 2013

    Hup Holland Hup!!!

  2. Happy new year to every one.
    My best wishes to Van gaal to select the right players for preparing Brazil 2014.Let Jesus guide van gaal to success.Brazil,Spain,Arjentina,Germany,Italy are forming a terrible teams.I wish that Van gaal finds the players with Charisma,brilliance,strentgh,unselfishness and skills to win a WC.

  3. Happy New Year, Jan! Great to read this. Thanks to Cruyff, I still like to think that Dutch football won WC2010. 😉

    And a special thanks to you for blogging away here. We all look forward to checking in to see what you’ve found for us… and really appreciate you as host. You make it far more fun for us underprivileged NT fans who haven’t learned Dutch.

    Dank u wel!

  4. hunter’s book is brilliant,one of the best books i have ever read about football. not always a easy lecture, the author tries to understand deeper connections and put the whole barca-story in historic context. obviously,cruyff is the main character,he’s behind everything,barca is his mind child. god bless him!

    thx jan for your tremendous work on this blog, and Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year to Jan and all the Dutch fans! It is too bad that Ajax and Holland national team did not benefit as much from Cruyff’s vision/football as Barca and Spain did.

  6. tThanks Jan for providing us with a great website which keeps us up to date with the greatest game of all, on the article it seems Cruyf’s legacy is well and truly alive in Spanish football, shame he won’t do it for the Dutch! Also Snieder at Tottenham would be fantastic especially since I’m a Spurs bleeder as well !

    Happy new year to you all!

  7. Brendon rogers commented on over paid average players ,who are good for nothing and have some experince and getting huge amount wage.i think it about Andy Caroll,Downing,Henderson and some other liverpool players..Most of the english players are very very overrated and that is why England sucks in EC and WC.
    @Van Banger
    I dont blame for Cryuff for not giving to dutch.Most of the dutch players/Maangement think that they are football pundits.that really sucks.its all obedience of Pep,laporta and co..so Spain benefitted..its all obedience and humbleness,i might call Ineassta,Busquets as divers but most of the spanish players are brilliant and humble,teachable and willing to learn..even after they became superstars..Can u say this about roben?wesly?or do you think Elia,Babel,Afaleey,Bulah,Schaken have the intelligence of spanish players.???no way.Dutch had some players who were willing to listen those were Persie,kuyt,Joris and Bulah..offcousre bulah was prime example of that,all he lacked was brilliance and talent.its true that dutch have some eternal talents in Robin and Roben,while Wesly and Vaart are on par with Xavi.but some players were inferior to their spanish counter parts.
    Persie > Villa=D1
    Dejong <busquets=S1
    Van derweil<Ramos=S1
    total score
    Though Stekelenburg,joris,johny are inferror to ther counter parts they did their duty EXCELLENTLY.so cannot blame on them.so spain won..they created chance after chance finally the got a goal.We got 2 best chances ,due to unluck it didnt go.team should have created more chances.the team who created more chances can score plenty of goals if they a have a efficiant striker.or efficeinet forwards.Spain had upper end in holding mids and forwards so they won ..they deserevd it and so is barca.its all happend they listened to cryuff.other wise light weighed players would have thrown out of selection from their childhood.

  8. Rossoneri bid to keep Sneijder in Milan

    Adriano Galliani has money from the sales of Alexandre Pato and Robinho and is willing to bring in the out-of-favour Dutchman from rivals Inter. A move for Drogba is also on the cards.

  9. Yes, thank you Jan for this terrific site, and thank you to all the contributors who help make it so.

    Best wishes for the New Year (and beyond) to you all,


  10. Happy New Year Everyone 😀

    May u have the bestest most fun filled and most succesfull and blissful year yet!

    From Sundawn Celbrations,

    The Palm, Dubai

    (Where the party is at!)

    1. that would be awesome and further cement my belief dutch players can be great late bloomers

      i can imagine some commenters here will go to the local pitch and start practicing hoping to make a team

  11. Manchester City football development executive Patrick Vieira’s recent words on Rekik perhaps say it all: “This boy has so much talent, if he doesn’t make it, it will be a big failure for us. He’s one of the best in our academy.”

    The club’s belief in the Dutch defender was further underlined as Roberto Mancini handed him a Premier League debut against Reading in December – a game in which the reigning champions kept a clean sheet and won 1-0. Of course, the sheer depth of Manchester City’s options pose a problem for the club’s youth prospects, but if the talk regarding Rekik is to be backed up then 2013 will be his breakthrough year.

    The 18-year-old tasted relegation during a short loan spell with Portsmouth but is sure to encounter considerably more success should he continue his rise at the Etihad Stadium.

  12. Happy New Year to all!

    RVP has been incredible guys, unstoppable.

    Even if i wasnt dutch, i would be in awe of his skills.

    The leading goal scorer for the years 2011 and 2012 now, and scored 2 more today.

    He is officially a legend, he just needs to lead us to WC glory in 2014 and he will be immortalized like Cruyff and the MVB.

    check out this piece on todays game.


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