Five years already without our prophet. Our messiah. Our father. A person who, as soon as he arrived as a player in 1973, fell in love with our club, our city and our country straight away. The affection, obviously, was mutual, but spread beyond his massive influence as a footballer.
Johan Cruyff, for all his successes throughout his playing career that undoubtedly earned him a place in the Olympus of football gods already, would have a repercussion that even surpassed all his genius acts on the pitch. Not even with a thousand lives will we be able to thank him enough, because he gave Barça what is most important for a club: a new and brilliant way of seeing life and football. A philosophy.
He made the complex look simple, and the simple look obvious. Michael Laudrup said on his time as a manager: “It was a different idea, another way of looking at the game. Cruyff is the only coach who would say tactical things you had never heard before and you would think: “Oh, of course!”. It might be logical but 90% of coaches wouldn’t say the same thing. Cruyff marked us all. Barcelona teams before him were different”.
Johan fought for such an identity and challenged the power from the conservative people in charge in order to implement it. He revolutionised not only a team, not only Barça, but football forever. He is immensely missed, and now we can only ask ourselves when faced against the most complex football problems: “What would Cruyff do?”. His legacy, though, stretches far beyond the mortal or tangible. Being against Cruyff means being on the wrong side.