?Barcelona have unveiled a statue outside Camp Nou in tribute to the late Johan Cruyff.
The Dutchman was an icon in his playing days before his innovative coaching methods changed the game. Operating as an attacking midfielder or forward, he won three Ballons d’Or during his career and spent five seasons with La Blaugrana, whilst also enjoying a total of 11 years at Ajax spread across two stints.
After hanging up his boots, Cruyff returned to manage both ?Barça and de Godenzonen, winning the 1992 European Cup with the former to add to the hat-trick of continental crowns he collected as Ajax’s chief playmaker.
Speaking about the statue, his son Jordi said (as quoted by Barcelona’s official ?Twitter account): “[It] brings pleasure and pride to the whole family. We would like to thank everyone who made it possible.
“It is in a very special place for [my father], where he spent a lot of time as a player and manager.”
Cruyff has come to symbolise Total Football, a manner of playing the sport whereby all players are capable of filling in for each other and taking over their teammate’s roles in the side.
It was a method that brought great success to Ajax in the 1970s, yet represents just one of the many ways in which he influence the game and helped shape its future.