Cruyff's life was even more fascinating when you take in superstitions and nearly joining Leicester

He also doubled up working at a printing works early in his career

Johan Cruyff

Picture by: PA / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Over Christmas I bought David Winner's tome on Dutch football 'Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football'

In it, there are little of nuggets of information that make Johan Cruyff's life and career even more interesting.

One of the anecdotes in Winner's book comes early on in the book where the amateur nature of 1960s Ajax was detailed.

In those days, a young Cruyff used to work on the side doing odd jobs at a printing works for a magazine called Sports World and even sold the magazine on the street.

All that came before Ajax became a truly professional setup that would sweep to success in Europe in the early 1970s with the Dutch master as its intellectual and spiritual on-field crux.

Another detail offered by Winner's book is the superstitious nature of Cruyff who was described as "very sensititive" by the club's physiotherapist Sabo Muller, amid details including the fact that the famed No 14 used to wear old boots in games and also would phone Muller regularly complaining of minor twinges which the physio used to allay with a "you're fine".

But another thing about Cruyff - not from Winner's book - is the fact that he nearly signed for current Premier League leaders Leicester City in 1981 before taking up a short spell with Spanish side Levante.

In Bed With Maradona's Jeff Livingstone detailed that tale in The Guardian in which the Foxes thought they had a deal done with Cruyff only for Levante to beat them to a signature.