Hendrik Johannes Cruijff, born in Amsterdam 1947, began his career at local club Ajax in 1964 where he quickly blossomed into a star. His excellent skills on the ball, great pace and ability to lift his teammates to a higher level, made him an invaluable asset to the Ajax.

Cruijff lifted Ajax six Dutch league championships, four domestic cup titles and three straight European Cup triumphs 1971-73 plus a European Super Cup and World Club Cup title. Johan Cruijff had taken over the torch from Pele as being the greatest player in the World. He left Ajax in 1973/74 season for Barcelona after 318 matches and 250 goals. His presence in the team helped Barcelona win a Spanish league championship — their first in 14 years.

In the summer of 1974, the Netherlands with Cruijff as the conductor and captain, impressed everybody in the World Cup in West Germany. Their “Total-Football” style gave great results as “Oranje” marched towards the Final in Munich in great style. The hosts were opponents in the final Germans won 2-1.

In 1979 Cruijff was back on the field again, this time in the North American Soccer League over three seasons before returning to Europe.

Cruijff finally retired after 752 official career appearances and 425 goals. He was European Footballer of the Year (Golden Ball) winner three times and has since also been a highly successful coach at both Ajax and Barcelona.