Considered by many to be THE total footballer, I brought in a new era to my beloved football. I was voted European Player of the Century in 1999 and have won numerous awards. People say that Rijkaard, Guardiola, Laudrup, Wenger, Cantona and Xavi have all been influenced by my style of football. Barcelona and Ajax have developed their academies on my coaching methods.
Total Football was created during my years at Ajax. The coach, Rinus Michels honed the style, whilst I remained the on-pitch conductor, making sure spaces were filled and the team’s structure never broke down. Space and the creation of it are central to this philosophy, whilst the player must play the game with his brain. Running around won’t achieve much, but being in the right place at the right time is instrumental to ensuring success. The final present I gave the modern game is the Cruyff turn. Now, in 2014, players can do this with such ease and fluidity it makes me a proud man.
At 67 years old, many would suggest my best years are past me and that I should stick to being a legend of the game. Positions as a consultant and adviser just made me realise my role would never be far from the pitch.I wish it were that easy. This is not just a game it is my life and through everything I have done I have found joy, despair, success and failure. The roller-coaster ride that comes with this life is something one man cannot leave so easily. When Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, you knew it was with a heavy heart and I do not wish to move out of the game right now. For me, it is calling me stronger than ever.
As the 2013/2014 season has come to an end Frank led de Godenzonen to the title yet again but found himself being called by Tottenham and Southampton, which ultimately led him to stepping down and figuring out what his next move was. As a result, Ajax decided they wanted me back and who am I to say no to an offer as close to my heart as this?! It was time for Johan Cruijff to return to management.