Anyone with even the slightest interest in football should read Johan Cruyff’s My Turn, the parting words of arguably the most influential the sport has ever seen.
We don’t need to write about what a legendary player, coach and thinker he was – others have described his legacy far more beautifully than we ever could.
But for an idea of Cruyff’s influence and legacy, even if you can’t read the book, read this interview with his most famous disciple, Pep Guardiola, by the great Donald McCrae.
It reveals several wonderful insights.
Among a plethora of memorable quotes, the reference to the butterfly effect is the most poignant in the eyes of Das Wunderkind.
“He was the most courageous coach and manager I ever met. When he smells the talent it doesn’t matter if the age is 16 or 17 because he believed in, what in Spain we call, the efecto mariposa [butterfly effect]. For him one good pass at the beginning could create absolutely everything,” – Guardiola explaining Cruyff’s reverence for the importance of the small details and youthful talent.
Cruyff was courageous to the end. His views on football often appeared contrarian and for a time, when they appeared under mortal threat from the rapacious economics of the modern game, seemed outdated and naïve were eventually enshrined in gospel by Guardiola’s great Barcelona sides.
When someone like Guardiola pays such reverential homage it is an indication of the great man’s standing.
Read Cruyff’s book.
And read the Guardiola interview.nd everybody follows. That’s so difficult to find,” – Guardiola on Cruyff the transformer, the creator.