Johan Cruyff created Barcelona’s style, and his son Jordi is helping Xavi lead the club back to the top

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The Cruyff Cult

The name Cruyff will always be associated with the great Catalan. Cruyff senior, Johan, who created Barcelona as we know it: he spent five good seasons in its formation in the 70s, and in the late 80s and early 90s he created the unique style that the team has championed until now. previously away

Catalonia even has the Cruyff Football Academy, which aims to preserve and modernize the principles of football preached by the great Dutch coach, spreading them around the world. About a year ago, the director of the academy, Albert Capeus, even came to Russia to teach the basics of tiki-taki to domestic experts.

Cruyff senior stopped coaching in 1996 (not counting the Catalan team), was asked to return, but impressed Josep Guardiola, now a key driver of the integrated game in modern football. And he managed to oust Xavi, who managed Barca last season. So now it is up to the legendary midfielder to find the identity of the team and return the club to the pinnacle of success.

The young but already very strong and rapidly improving coach is assisted by Johan Kropf’s son Jordi. He himself did not play for Barcelona for long, but he did not become a brilliant football player or a remarkable coach. Over the years, he coached in Israel, China and Ecuador, but failed to break into the top league. He could explain it better than his father planting him on the football field.

But they never shied away from wider organizational work. For example, he was the sporting director of AEK Cyprus and Maccabi Tel Aviv. And now he is appreciated precisely as a breeder.

Johan supported Kiman till the end

Jordi Cruyff returned to Barcelona a few months before Xavi. In August, he became Joan LaPorta’s sports advisor and director of international scouting. However, he used the club’s first-person access in a very unusual way.

Thus, in September last year, the club’s board discussed the resignation of Ronald Koeman and wanted to offer Cruyff the position of coach, but he immediately rejected this option, as he has been a close friend of his compatriot for 30 years. OK, that’s respectable. In its place, many will take the opportunity to explain the decision as “business”. Like, work is work. But he didn’t come.

According to other reports, Laporta never had such a conversation with Jordi, but for the same reason: Cruyff would never have betrayed a friend. Conversely, after losing to Benfica (0-3) in the Champions League, when Laporta seemed to have finally decided to sack Koeman, it was Cruyff who convinced the boss to give the guru one last chance and explained the failure. A whole series of injuries to base players including Sergio Aguero, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati. Like, here they will heal and things will improve. Ronaldo didn’t capitalize on the 0-2 from Atletico and was sent off.

Triumvirate of Dominion – Yordi – Germany

After Koman decided to follow Ramon Plains as technical secretary, who assumed responsibility for his appearance. Xavi was appointed to the coaching job, probably not without Cruyff’s involvement, and the Spaniard immediately began promoting the Dutchman as Plains’ successor, explaining that he had long wanted to work together with Jordi and that would happen. It is more convenient for him to coordinate all activities. Formally, Cruyff’s position at the club did not change, but he became the layer between the coach and the management and coordinated the new players with Xavi.

Therefore, in the winter, the club had practically no money, and reinforcements were essential, and Cruyff, with his excellent knowledge of the European market, found two strong options: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (free wine) and Adama Traore (on loan). ), and previously offered candidates to Dani Alves and a group of players who arrived as free agents.

As a result, he managed to find a common language not only with Xavi (satisfied with the quality of the players), but also with the director Mateu Alemany (satisfied with the financial part of the deals), who is directly involved in the organization. of all transfers. Their triumvirate did particularly well in the summer when Franck Cassier, Andreas Christensen, Hector Bellerin, Marcos Alonso (all came on a free), Rafinha, Jules Kunde and Robert Lewandowski himself joined Barcelona.

Yes, in total the club spent more than 150 million euros and Laporte had to activate many financial levers, but objectively there is little money for a total revolution of such player personnel. In comparison, Manchester United spent more on two players, Anthony and Casemiro.

How well they work together is also reflected in the fact that Xavi has won five of seven matches with an updated squad, losing only in Munich, where Barca have traditionally struggled. But in the Championship, the Blue Garnets have a goal difference of 15-1 and are two points behind Real Madrid’s mysterious start.

“Bar” element

In each case such a juicy transfer campaign was made possible by the Catalan giants making the most of the “Barca factor”. I wrote about this in July, but in short: the Blaugrana had a more serious financial competitor for each new arrival (for example, Kunde and Rafinho wanted Chelsea and Lewandowski agreed a very lucrative contract for the good of the dream), the Catalan managed to convince the players that There is no greater joy than playing at the Camp Nou every month. As a result, players tried to make the transition on their own.

Apparently, the author of this concept was precisely Cruyff. In any case, he already spoke about it in March, albeit with reference to other newcomers: “In Spain the rules are much stricter than in the rest of Europe. You must be creative. Players should be willing to come here knowing the financial conditions and limitations of financial fair play. They know they can make more money elsewhere. Four new players (we’re talking winter rookies – ed.) have gone out of their way to make sure the numbers are right, and we’re grateful for that. Barcelona is still a special club. Players are willing to lose money to play here.”

In general, the legal registration of the position of sporting director, which Yordi actually held at the club, is logical. By the way, he signed a contract for only one year, moreover, by his own decision. He does not want to be hampered by contractual obligations in deciding his future career path. Unique.


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