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June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter

Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness,…
June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On…
June 01, 2020

Lewis: Sport can be key in covid19 recovery

BRIAN LEWIS, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), says that sports can play a…
May 31, 2020

FEMALE MEMBERSHIP OF IOC COMMISSIONS REACHES AN ALL-TIME HIGH OF 47.7 PER CENT - TWO…

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) ANNOUNCED TODAY THE COMPOSITION OF ITS COMMISSIONS FOR 2020. THE…
May 28, 2020

TTOC to roll out covid19 relief to athletes

The TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) is currently finalising the criteria needed for athletes to benefit…
May 26, 2020

OpEd: The IOC Stands in Solidarity With All Athletes and All Sports

Much has been written lately about the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s finances. Some of these…

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When we marvel at the beauty of Barcelona’s current team we have to thank the vision of one man who tore up the rule book and coached every player to be comfortable on the ball, playing Total Football with total freedom

Football lovers drone on endlessly about who is the greatest player. The debate usually converges on the trinity of Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Older fans may add Alfredo Di Stefano to the candidates’ list. Romantics will also venture the name of Johan Cruyff, who died on Thursday aged 68.

What football’s big five have in common is that they left lasting images of ingenuity, power and grace in our collective mind’s eye. What is unique about Cruyff is that his footprint is deeper, longer and more enduring than those of all the rest. There is no Pele style, or Maradona style, or Messi style, or Di Stefano style to be found in the way the game is played today. But there is a Cruyff style. Or, as they say in Spain, a Cruyff ideology.

The most admired and most successful team of the present day – on this point there is no discussion – is Barcelona, the living expression of the Dutchman’s idea of how the game should be played. Cruyff’s spirit hovers around the Barcelona team, penetrating the thought processes of every player on the field.


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Johan Cruyff: the balletic genius who changed football
Cruyff’s most ardent disciple, Pep Guardiola, is this Barça’s architect, the manager under whom they won 14 out of 19 possible leagues and cups in four years, a feat unequalled in the history of the game. But one thing Guardiola has never failed to repeat is that the original design belongs to Cruyff, under whom the Catalan played and learned his craft in the early 1990s. “Cruyff made the Sistine Chapel,” Guardiola has said. “The job of those that have followed him at Barcelona has been to maintain it.”

Football’s Michelangelo, it should be acknowledged, had a Dutch master of his own. Cruyff’s coach at his boyhood team, Ajax Amsterdam, was Rinus Michels, the man who devised the concept of “total football”.

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