David Winner on the sheer impact Johan Cruyff's ideas are still having in modern football

Author chats to Off The Ball about the late Dutch legend

Johan Cruyff, Pat Rice, Ireland, Netherlands

Johan Cruyff takes on Ireland's Pat Rice Picture by: Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport

When it comes to Dutch football and its history, author David Winner is the foremost voice about a football nation that has produced a style and world class players.

One of those world class players of course was Johan Cruyff, who passed away today at the age of 68.

Winner joined Off The Ball tonight to give his expert take on the footballing legend and a man who was very sure of his own unique ideas about the game.

He also pointed out some of the teams that are "overtly influenced" by Cruyff like Arsenal's Invincibles, late '80s AC Milan, modern Barcelona, Bayern Munich and the Spanish national side.

"Cruyff invented the sweeper keeper. You wouldn't have Manuel Neuer for example without what Cruyff invented for the 1974 World Cup," said Winner of one example, while he also detailed how the Dutchman changed the image and style of what Spanish football has gone on to represent. 

"The other thing was pressing. The gegenpressing that Klopp now talks about is completely a Cruyffian-Michels thing.

"It's legitimate to call him the father of modern football. It's hard to imagine the game without his influence".

 

 

 

Pele, former star player for the N.Y. Cosmos, hugs former Dutch world cup soccer ace Johan Cruyff in New York in 1978 after Cruyff had been signed to play in a pair of exhibition games for the Cosmos. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)