Huh?! How’s that?
Well, he came close in 1974 himself, as will be endlessly repeated on every channel up till Sunday. But the final, Holland versus Barcelona+, will bear his strong imprint.
His mark on Holland is unique. The Netherlands didn’t exist as a football nation before Cruyff, who (and not Michels) was the originator of total football. Ever since, Holland has played in shades of that recognizable style, albeit, it has to be said, more faintly in this edition of the world cup.
Almost exactly the same can be said about Barcelona (apart from the fact that it did exist before Cruyff, but not in it’s present, entirely recognizable form), who fielded 7 out of 11 of the Spanish team that thrashed Germany.
Now, the outcome is also not hard to predict. Spain has the infinite advantage of having the core of a club team as the national side, with all the intricate automatisms and tacit understandings that brings.
Arguably, they also have the better players.
So it will be 2-0 to Barça, uhh, Spain.
You can always ask that German octopus, he’s been spot on so far..
Speaking about Germany, we were planning to say that they were already world-champions in the sense of having the most memorable impact by the way they played. That is, until they got comprehensively outplayed today, which marred their show quite a bit. As Cruyff has it, it’s not all about winning. Only one team can win, but all the others have an opportunity to shine and do themselves proud. The most memorable team from a championship is not necessarily the winner. Ask Cruyff..