The Dutch maestro died on Thursday, aged 68
Johan Cruyff was so good he had a move named after him in "the Cruyff Turn".
RIP Johan Cruyff pic.twitter.com/H5LB62qLw3— Newstalk Sport (@NewstalkSport) March 24, 2016
Swedish defender Jan Olsson was the unlucky player to be part of sporting immortality when the move was first seen. The move was first seen during the 1974 World Cup in Dortmund.
It has been imitated thousands of times since, but never bettered. From amateur games to the highest level of professional football, fans and players have tried to mimic Cruyff.
Czech Republic's Patrik Berger tries to fool Denmark's Stig Tofting during Euro 2000. Picture by: Tony Marshall / EMPICS Sport
Simon Kuper has written extensively about Dutch football throughout his career after growing up in The Netherlands. He claims that the momentous move is not as highly thought of in Cruyff's homeland as many may expect.
Foreigners fixate on 'Cruyff Turn' bcs '74 World Cup was only time most saw him play. Dutch rarely mention it as they watched him for 20 yrs— Simon Kuper (@KuperSimon) March 24, 2016
While it's easy to understand Kuper's theory it is still hard to fathom. The lack of global television coverage during the 1970's meant that a wider audience only saw players like Cruyff during World Cups or European Championships. Nowadays we can see Lionel Messi on our screens every weekend whether he is playing for Barcelona or Argentina.
Was the Amsterdam native really so good that when he performed the Cruyff Turn, the Dutch fans passed no heed? It makes you wonder how much of Cryuff will never be seen apart from fans who went to games around the Netherlands, Spain and America.