The numbers that made a legend

Using Opta data, we take a look at the stats that tell the story of Johan Cruyff's remarkable career.

Johan Cruyff

Football lost one of its greatest names on Thursday following the death of Johan Cruyff.


The passing of the Netherlands, Ajax and Barcelona stalwart has led to tributes from far and wide, as fans, pundits, players and managers recall the genius of a man so iconic that he invented a piece of footballing skill.

Here, using Opta's data, we look at the stats that made him a legend.

The Player

- As a player, Cruyff won 10 league titles (eight with Ajax, one with Barcelona, one with Feyenoord). He also won six Dutch Cups and one Copa del Rey.

- He was part of the Ajax team that won three consecutive European Cups in 1971, 1972 and 1973. He scored a brace against Inter in the 1972 final.

- Cruyff is the all-time Eredivisie top scorer for Ajax with 204 goals.

- With Barcelona, Cruyff scored 59 goals in 173 matches in all competitions.

- He scored 20-plus league goals in six consecutive seasons for Ajax and was also part of the highest scoring team in Eredivisie history (1966/67, 122 goals).

- Cruyff won 80 per cent of Eredivisie games as a player, a higher rate than anyone else in the league's history.

- Cruyff became Eredivisie top scorer in 1966-67 with 33 goals, aged just 20 years and 26 days.

- In 1974, he became the first player to win the Ballon d'Or three times.

Oranje's Inspiration

- Cruyff scored 33 goals in 48 caps for the Dutch national team. He made his debut against Hungary on September 7, 1966, aged 19 years and 135 days.

- He scored on his debut but received a red card in his second match (v Czechoslovakia). With that red card, he was the first player to be sent off for the Netherlands.

- Between 1970 and 1974, the Netherlands lost only one of the 29 matches in which Cruyff featured - the World Cup final v West Germany in 1974.

- Cruyff scored three goals and delivered three assists in that 1974 World Cup. Despite winning the penalty for the Netherlands' opening goal against West Germany, he did not have a single shot in the final.

- Cruyff had more successful dribbles in the 1974 World Cup (34) than any other player. This included his famous 'Cruyff turn' against Sweden.

- In the 1974 World Cup, Cruyff was also the player who created the most chances (36) and completed the most passes in the final third of the pitch (136).

- Cruyff scored more goals as captain of the Dutch national team than any other player (23).

As a Manager

- Cruyff was a league winner on four occasions, all with Barcelona. He also notably won the Dutch Cup twice with Ajax and the Copa del Rey once with Barcelona.

- He won European titles with the two clubs he managed, notably the 1987 Cup Winners Cup with Ajax, the 1989 Cup Winners' Cup and 1992 European Cup with Barcelona.

- Cruyff was the first manager to win the European Cup with Barcelona, back in 1992 against Sampdoria.


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