Johan Cruyff is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. Throughout his playing career, he was synonymous with Total Football, a style of play in which every player could play in any position on the pitch. Today his philosophy lives on in teams across Europe, from Barcelona to Bayern Munich, and players from Lionel Messi to Cesc Fabrecas.
My Turn tells the story of Cruyff's life starting at Ajax, where he won eight national titles and three European Cups before moving to Barcelona, where he won La Liga in 1973, his first season, and was named European Footballer of the Year. He won the Ballon d'Or three times and led the Dutch national team to the final of the 1974 World Cup, famously losing to West Germany and receiving the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament.
While on the field Cruyff was in total control, off the field his life was more turbulent, with a kidnapping attempt and bankruptcy. After retiring in 1984, he became a hugely successful manager of Ajax and then Barcelona, where he won the Champions league with a young Pep Guardiola in his team. In 1999 Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century and came second behind Pelé in the World Player of the Century poll.
In March 2016 Cruyff died after a short battle with lung cancer, bringing world football to a standstill in an outpouring of emotions. Johan Cruyff was a brilliant teacher and analyst of the game he loved, and My Turn is his legacy.
©2016 Johan Cruyff (P)2016 Macmillan Digital Audio
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"Cruyff addresses his critics"
This is not a bad book. I know that 3 stars can mean the death of a book here, but I don't regret listening to it. But this is because I'm an avid football and Barca fan and enjoyed learning about how things came about in the things that I love. If you're not predisposed to Ajax, Barca, or the concept of total football, I would not recommend.
Mostly this is because 50% of the book seems as though Cruyff has saved every piece of reportage that criticized him in his career and now goes through one by one and counters what they had to say. He is constantly addressing his critics and criticisms made of him long ago. Cruyff is a legend regardless of your opinion of him. One of the games greatest and one of those who had the most influence. I thought he could have told his side without being defensive.
"In the mind of the legend..."
Getting to see the world of football through the eyes of Johan Cruyff, both as a player and coach.
Johan describing how he grew up with Ajax from a young age...it is easy to see the fondness with which he looks backs on those days and describes a passionate Ajax/Holland team.
Johan describing the 1974 World Cups games
In his own words, "A Responsible Sportsman"
Overall it was a very interesting book and one I thoroughly enjoyed both as a fan of soccer and of Holland. My only critique would be that his diatribe on the state of affairs with both Ajax/Holland during the late 2000's was a bit long-winded. Outside of that, the book did not disappoint.
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