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Pearls of footballing wisdom from Johan Cruyff

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Las mejores frases de Johan Cruyff © Getty Images Las mejores frases de Johan Cruyff

Over several decades, Johan Cruyff regaled us all with a great many pearls of wisdom concerning his footballing philosophy. Here are some of the best, ones that illustrate how he conceived the sport that was his life and which made him a legend:

(Just before signing for FC Barcelona) “I'm not worth 100 million pesetas.”

(On signing for Barça) “Ajax are a great football team; Barcelona are a great club”.

(In 1974) “I'll go into public relations, I'm not cut out for coaching.”

“I had a lot more fun as a player than I did as a coach. The further you are away from the pitch, the worse it gets.”

“Catalans don't have much of a sense of humour. They only ever laugh a lot when they beat Madrid.”

“I can only ever be successful at two clubs: Ajax and Barcelona. That's where they want to play the best football in the world."

“The street is where you learn to play football."

“Coaching is not the same as teaching. There are lots of coaches; but teachers, not so many."

“The best way to teach a kid how to play football is not by prohibiting, but with guidance."

“If you don't know how to do something, you can't teach it."

“If you've got the ball, you don't have to defend, because there is only one ball."

“If we've got the ball, they can't score."

“Having the ball is not just about having the ball full-stop. You've got to know what to do with it."

“If you don't shoot, you can't score."

“Football is simple, but the most difficult thing to do is play football in a simple way."

“Every disadvantage has its advantage."

“You have to know what it is that you don't know how to do."

“I like to work, but only doing the work that I like."

“How many times do you see a 40-metre pass when a 20-metre one is enough? The solution that looks to be the easiest is, in fact, the most difficult."

"Ball control is the basic thing. If you don't control the ball, you have to run after it. That's a different sport."

“You don't need to run so much. Football is played with the brain."

“The most important thing is vision. Touching the ball is the least important thing."

"Everyone knows how to play football if you give them five metres of space."

"My forwards only need to run 15 metres, unless they're either stupid or asleep."

"Team squads should have 21 just players. That way more of them get to play, and you've got more of them on your side."

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