LA PRIMERA LEYENDA

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Es difícil de creer que el fútbol vistoso que tanto anhelamos hoy en día, a lo largo de todo el mundo, haya sido implantado por una sola persona. Y es que existió un jugador, notable no solo por su calidad sino también por su personalidad, que se puede considerar como uno de los pioneros del
“tiki-tiki”, así denominado por algunos críticos de fútbol. El holandés Johan Cruyff fue el primer hombre que pudo dejar su impronta como jugador y como Director Técnico. Haber visto a este alto y flaco delantero en las canchas, era un placer que muchos pudieron disfrutar. Con marcas de goleador y otras de lírico, una palabra alcanza para definirlo, “CRACK”. A lo largo de su carrera futbolística y como entrenador, solo tuvo una idea de juego, “primar el buen futbol, sobre por el resultado”.


Hendrik Johan Cruyff es un ex futbolista holandés. Fue entrenador y Presidente de Honor del FC Barcelona, además de colaborar con la Federación Catalana en proyectos deportivos y sociales luego de ser su director técnico. Nació el 25 de abril de 1947, en Amsterdam. El segundo hijo de una humilde familia holandesa que vivía en un barrio de clase obrera muy cerca del campo del Ajax. Su padre falleció cuando él tenía doce años, su madre se dedicó a la venta de frutas y verduras.

Estuvo diez temporadas en el primer equipo del Ajax de Amsterdam, fichando en 1973 por el FC Barcelona del que se marcharía en 1978 para recalar en la Liga Estadounidense de Fútbol. Allí estuvo tres temporadas, intercaladas con una temporada en el Levante UD que militaba en la Segunda División de España, para volver finalmente en 1981 a la liga neerlandesa, militando dos temporadas en el Ajax y su última temporada como jugador en el Feyenoord de Rotterdam.

La ruptura con el Ajax llegó en la temporada 1973-74, cuando el club de la capital neerlandesa negoció el traspaso de Cruyff al Real Madrid. Al saberlo, el jugador hizo muestra de una rebeldía que también le caracterizó durante toda su carrera, no fichando por el Real Madrid, sino por su máximo rival, el Barcelona. Su traspaso se convirtió en el más caro en la historia del fútbol hasta ese momento (60 millones de pesetas) y firmó un contrato de 12.000 dólares mensuales. Cruyff, ya enfrentado a la directiva del Ajax y decidido a fichar por el Barça, dio un paso al frente en una decisión hoy olvidada pero que fue decisiva en ese momento. «Soy un hombre de palabra y se la di al Barça. No jugaré en otro club», le dijo Johan al presidente del Ajax, recordando a quien quisiera escucharle que el club azulgrana había sido el primero en interesarse por él. «Hace tres años que espero este momento».
El día de su debut colaboró con dos goles en la victoria de su equipo 4-0 sobre el Granada. Desde entonces, y gracias al juego y calidad del ‘Flaco’, los catalanes no perdieron ni un solo partido desde su llegada y ganaron la liga. Cruyff brilló con la camiseta del Barcelona al lado de otros grandes jugadores como el peruano Hugo Sotil, quien fue su socio en ataque, de esta manera terminó la temporada con 24 goles anotados.
Su gran paso por el FC Barcelona lo llevó a que una vez retirado, el conjunto catalán lo contratara como entrenador el 4 de mayo de 1988, con el club sumido en una crisis deportiva similar a la de cuando llegó como jugador. Cruyff empezó a trabajar en un nuevo proyecto a largo plazo, prescindiendo de gran parte de la plantilla y realizando fichajes como los de Txiki Begiristain o José Mari Bakero. Pero sus dos primeras temporadas en Barcelona no fueron fáciles. A pesar de haber obtenido la Recopa de Europa en su primera temporada, Cruyff intentaba hacer comprender que lo importante era que el equipo asumiese su filosofía de juego. En el FC Barcelona llevó esta idea hasta el extremo, llegando a jugar con tres defensas (con su famoso 4-3-3) y prescindir de un delantero centro para poder poblar el centro del campo de jugadores como Josep Guardiola, José Mari Bakero, Guillermo Amor o Michael Laudrup, lo cual puede parecer una contradicción con el juego ofensivo, pero para Cruyff los delanteros debían jugar por la banda para que centrocampistas ofensivos llegasen a sus centros y de esta manera desconcentrar a los centrales rivales, dejándoles sin saber a quién marcar. Otra técnica que le gustaba usar para evitar los marcajes de las defensas rivales era el intercambio de posiciones de los extremos.

Esta filosofía, nos permite hoy hacer un leve paralelismo entre el “Menottismo” y el “Bilardismo” argentino; Y esta misma, lo llevó a tantas victorias como a finales sin grandes resultados. Una de la característica que podemos destacar es la rápida reacción tanto a la hora de definir como de jugar y es la particularidad que hizo especial tanto a su juego como al de sus equipos. El juego que hoy desplegan equipos como el mismo Barcelona o el Bayern Munich de Guardiola (jugador dirigido por Cruyff) tiene el mismo espíritu de monopolizar la pelota, el brillo a la hora de profundizar los balones y el alma del delantero holandés cuando es tiempo de definir con simpleza, clase y frescura. Son innumerables las cantidades de discípulos que tiene este “maestro” del futbol pero que por suerte, hoy se ven en el futbol mundial.

Por Rodrigo da Silva 
@rodridasilvaa
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