Grassroots Coaching

The famous Cruyff turn

Johan Cruyff was an exceptionally skilful and very intelligent football player. In the 1974 World Cup held in West Germany, Cruyff was captain of the Dutch team that went onto to get beaten 2 – 1 by the hosts in the final.

The Dutch were fantastic in this World Cup, playing some unbelievable, sexy football that was immortalised by one moment of sheer genius, that has been copied, or attempted to copy by every would be star since: The Cruyff turn.

Holland were playing Sweden, when Cruyff nonchalantly pulled a long ball out of the air on the left The Swedish right back Jan Olsson closed him down and initially did well to force him away from goal. Cruyff, with his back to goal protected and manipulated the ball, then with an exaggerated swing of his right foot, threatened to cross the ball. Olsson went to block the cross with his left foot. Quick as a flash Cruyff performed his outrageous turn, where he flicked the ball with the big toe of his right foot past the unbalanced and committed Olsson, sprinted after the ball then put a dangerous cross into the box with the outside of his right foot. Ultimately, the cross came to nothing. But one of the most famous and most copied pieces of football skill had been broadcast live to millions of supporters and a legend was born.

But was he the first player to do this type of turn? Take a look at Pele’s turn in 1960 v Juventus!!

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