Last Time El Salvador Was In The World Cup FC Barcelona – The Cruyff Years

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FC Barcelona – The Cruyff Years

Johan Cruyff is a legendary football player known worldwide for his aggressive and intelligent style of play. Although he had success in his earlier years, it was when he joined FC Barcelona in 1973 that his star really began to shine.

Cruyff began his career in his native Netherlands playing for AFC Ajax. There, he led the team to numerous victories and memorable performances, but was eventually sold to FC Barcelona for a substantial sum. Cruyff wasted no time winning over the Barcelona fans, ​​​​​​​telling the press that he chose Barcelona over their rivals Real Madrid because he did not want to play for a team associated with former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. He even named his son Jordi, a traditional Catalan name (the region of Spain where Barcelona is found).

Cruyff’s years playing for FC Barcelona were truly memorable and made him an icon. In his first year with the team, he helped them win La Liga for the first time in fourteen years (beating Real Madrid on their own turf along the way) and was also named European Footballer of the Year the Year. It was also during this period that he scored one of his most memorable goals, namely “The Phantom Goal” or “Le but d’imposible de Cruyff” (The Impossible Goal of Cruyff). In a game against Atlético Madrid, the football had already passed the far goal post and was about neck height when Cruyff jumped into the air, spun so that he was facing away from the goal and kicked’ the ball into the goal with his right heel. This move among others propelled him to godlike status in the eyes of football fans.

Cruyff then spent many years away from FC Barcelona as a player and manager, until he finally returned to the club as a manager in 1988. When he returned to Barcelona, ​​Cruyff brought the so-called “Dream Team” . This elite squad included Spaniards Jon Andoni Goikoetxea, Jose Mari Bakero, Josep Guardiola, Txiki Beguiiristain, along with Romanian international stars Gheorghe Hagi, Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov, Dane Michael Laudrup, Brazilian Romario, and Dutchman Ronald Koeman .

Under Cruyff’s guidance, the Dream Team went on to win four consecutive La Liga titles from 1991 to 1994. They won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1989 and the European Cup in 1992 at Wembley Stadium with a famous free-kick goal courtesy of Ronald Koeman. In 1990, the Dream Team won the Copa del Rey, the European Super Cup in ’92, and three Supercopa de Espana.

Cruyff remains FC Barcelona’s most successful manager to date, with eleven trophies to his name. He also has the distinction of being the club’s longest serving manager. He remains an advisor to the president of FC Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, who he openly supported during the elections. To this day, he is still respected by FC Barcelona fans, who call him “El Salvador” (The Savior) for his successful run as a player and coach at the club.

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