Jordi Cruyff

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Jordi Cruyff
Cruyff, Jordi.jpg
Personal information
Full name Johan Jordi Cruijff
Date of birth (1974-02-09) 9 February 1974 (age 40)
Place of birth Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1981–1988 Ajax
1988–1992 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Barcelona B 47 (14)
1994–1996 Barcelona 41 (11)
1996–2000 Manchester United 34 (8)
1999 Celta Vigo (loan) 8 (2)
2000–2003 Alavés 94 (7)
2003–2004 Espanyol 30 (3)
2006–2008 Metalurh Donetsk 28 (0)
2009–2010 Valletta 17 (10)
Total 299 (55)
National team
1995–2004 Catalonia 9 (2)
1996 Netherlands 9 (1)
Teams managed
2009–2010 Valletta (player-assistant manager)
2010–2012 AEK Larnaca
2012–2014 Maccabi Tel Aviv (general manager)
2014– PAOK (technical director)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 07:49, 22 August 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Johan Jordi Cruijff (born 9 February 1974), also known as Jordi Cruyff (both forms are acceptable in Dutch), is a Dutch former footballer and currently Maccabi Tel Aviv general manager of football. He played from 1992 through to 2010, his clubs including FC Barcelona and Manchester United. He gained nine caps for the Netherlands national football team, playing in the 1996 European Championships. Cruyff is the son of Dutch former player and manager Johan Cruyff.

Jordi played mainly as an attacking midfielder, though he could also appear as a second striker. In his later years, notably with Metalurh Donetsk, he also played as a centre back. After starting his career with Barcelona (under his father's management) and playing for the Netherlands aged 22, Cruyff's career stalled whilst at Manchester United, as he appeared just 36 times in the league over four years due largely to injuries. His most successful period was arguably with Deportivo Alavés, whom he led to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final. He also played for Celta Vigo, RCD Espanyol and finished his playing career with Valletta in the Maltese Premier League.

Club career[edit]

Barcelona[edit]

In 1992, Cruyff made his debut for FC Barcelona B in the Segunda División, and two years later joined the senior team during a pre-season tour in the Netherlands, where he scored hat-tricks against Groningen and De Graafschap. On 4 September 1994, his father gave him his top flight debut in, a 2–1 defeat at Sporting Gijón. On 2 November, he played against Manchester United in the Champions League, and Cruyff set up the first goal for Hristo Stoichkov, as Barcelona won 4–0.

Despite a positive start, Cruyff's time at Barcelona effectively came to an end when his father was sacked by Josep Lluís Núñez. On 19 May 1996, he played his last game for the club against Celta Vigo, at the Camp Nou.

Manchester United[edit]

In August 1996, Cruyff signed with Manchester United for a fee of £1.4 million on a four-year contract. He made his club debut on 17 August, in a 3–0 win over Wimbledon, the opening fixture of the 1996–97 season, in a game noted for David Beckham's goal from his own half. Cruyff then scored on his next two appearances, helping to 2–2 draws against Everton and Blackburn Rovers.

He was a regular in the first team until the end of November, when he suffered a knee injury. Late 1996 was a difficult time for the Reds, who surrendered the last unbeaten start in the Premier League when they were crushed 5–0 by fellow title challengers Newcastle United on 20 October. Over the next two weeks, they were beaten 6–3 at Southampton, lost their unbeaten home record in Europe to Turkish champions Fenerbahçe in a Champions League group game, suffered their first home league defeat in two years when they lost 2–1 to Chelsea at Old Trafford, suffered a further home defeat in Europe to Juventus, and were then dumped out of the Football League Cup by Leicester City. By March, however, he was back in the side and United's season was firmly back on track. They had been top of the league since late January and had qualified for the European Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 28 years, where they beat FC Porto 4–0 on aggregate. Although they lost to Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals, United won their fourth league title in five seasons. Although he remained at the club for another three seasons and United won four trophies during that time, the 1996–97 Premier League was the only winner's medal that Cruyff collected at United.

An ankle injury further jeopardised his first team chances in 1997–98, as he played just five league games and failed to score. He played five times in the league and scored twice the following season before a loan deal with Celta Vigo took him back to Spain in January 1999. He scored twice in eight games for the Spaniards before return to United, who had completed the treble of the Premier League title, FA Cup and European Cup during his absence.

In 1999–2000, despite the arrival of Quinton Fortune as another understudy for Ryan Giggs on the left wing, Cruyff played eight times in the league for United and came just two games short of a title winner's medal as they were crowned Premier League champions for the sixth time in eight seasons. He was also on the scoresheet three times. On the first occasion, he scored a second half equaliser against Wimbledon at Old Trafford on 18 September 1999 and set the course for an unbeaten home run in the league that season. On 26 February 2000, United travelled to Selhurst Park for the return game against Wimbledon and Cruyff's 30th minute goal contributed towards a 2–2 draw – a result which earned United a point and helped ensure they would lose just three league games (then a Premier League record) all season. His final goal for United came on 29 April 2000 when he scored a late winner against doomed Watford in a 3–2 victory at Vicarage Road. His final appearance came on the final day of the season, 14 May 2000, as a Teddy Sheringham winner gave United a 1–0 away win over Aston Villa and ensured that they finished champions by a margin of 18 points – which a decade on has yet to be surprassed in the Premier League.

Cruyff's contract expired on 30 June 2000 and he returned to Spain on a free transfer to Alaves. In four years he played a total of 54 games for United and scored eight goals.[1][2]

Later years[edit]

On leaving United, Cruyff moved once again to Spain, and signed with Deportivo Alavés. With the Basque, he reached the 2001 UEFA Cup Final, against Liverpool: despite being 2–0 and then 3–1 down, Alavés embarked on a spirited comeback and Cruyff's goal in the 89th minute tied the game at 4–4. An own goal in extra time saw Liverpool lift the cup.

Cruyff continued to play for Alavés until the club was relegated at the end of 2002–03. The following season he joined Espanyol, being played regularly in his only season. From 2004 to 2006, he was semi-retired after a serious knee injury, keeping fit with Barcelona B and playing in some veteran matches. Cruyff spent the 2007–08 season playing with Metalurh Donetsk, where he played mainly as a centre back.[3] At the same time, he entered the fashion business, helping develop the Cruyff clothing brand.[4]

In mid-2009, Cruyff signed a three-year deal as assistant-manager of Maltese side Valletta, aiding first coach Ton Caanen, while also being a player in his first season. He made his debut on 26 July 2009, in a 3–0 win in the Europa League 2009–10 first qualifying round against Keflavík. His league appearance came on 21 August 2008, in a 3–1 win over Birkirkara. He scored his first goal on 29 August 2009 in a 6–0 win against Floriana. Valletta won the MFA Trophy in Cruyff's first season beating Qormi 2–1, although Cruyff did not play in the final as he was not fully fit.

International career[edit]

Cruyff (number 17) playing for Netherlands against Scotland at Villa Park during Euro 96

Cruyff's performances for Barcelona persuaded coach Guus Hiddink to include him in the Netherlands team for Euro 96; he made his debut for the national side in a 2–0 defeat against Germany, on a 24 April 1996 friendly.

Cruyff scored his only goal for the Netherlands during the final stages, on 13 June, in a 2–0 win against Switzerland at Villa Park, and was one of six Dutch footballers to be selected for the Dutch national team while never having played in the Eredivisie, the other capped players being Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Tim Krul, Rob Reekers, Willi Lippens and Wim Hofkens.

Cruyff also played for Catalonia, scoring on his debut, a 5–2 win over Barcelona at the Nou Estadi de Tarragona, on 25 June 1995. He also scored for Catalonia in a 5–0 win over Lithuania on 22 December 2000, at the Camp Nou. In all, Cruyff played nine times for the side, including two defeats against Brazil in 2002 and 2004.

Managerial career[edit]

In 2010, Cruyff announced his retirement from professional football and joined AEK Larnaca as Director of Football.[5][6] He signed Ton Caanen as head coach, and the pair worked to establish the team as a new football powerhouse in Cyprus. He and the manager, managed to lead AEK Larnaca to the groups of Europa League in season 2011–2012

In April 2012, Cruyff was signed by Mitchell Goldhar, owner of Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C to be the Sports Director of the football club.[7][8] His first act was to sign Óscar García Junyent, then head coach of FC Barcelona Juvenil A, as head coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv.

In May 2013, Maccabi Tel Aviv won its first championship since 2003 of the Israeli Premier League for the 2012–2013 season. On May 2, Johan Cruyff joined his son Jordi Cruyff and attended the championship celebration in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv with around 100,000 fans.

In June 2013, Jordi Cruff signed the Portuguese coach, Paulo Sousa as the new coach of Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. In August 2013, Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C failed to qualify to the Champions league after 4-3 defeat in aggregation to F.C Basel in the third qualifying round but proceeded to the final 32 team stage at the Europa League. On February 23, 2014, Jordi Cruyff joined Johan Cruyff during his meeting in Jerusalem with the Israeli President, Shimon Peres.

In May 2014, Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C won the second championship in row of the Israeli premier league, since the arrival of Jordi Cruff to the club in summer 2012.

Statistics[edit]

As of 26 September 2009[9]
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1993–94 Barcelona La Liga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1994–95 28 9 3 0 5 0 36 9
1995–96 13 2 1 0 4 0 18 2
England League FA Cup Europe Total
1996–97 Manchester United FA Premier League 16 3 0 0 4 0 20 3
1997–98 5 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
1998–99 5 2 0 0 3 0 8 2
1999–2000 8 3 0 0 4 0 12 3
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
1998–99 Celta Vigo (loan) La Liga 8 2 1 0 0 0 9 2
2000–01 Deportivo Alavés La Liga 35 3 - - 10 4 45 7
2001–02 33 4 0 0 - - 33 4
2002–03 26 1 3 0 3 0 32 1
2003–04 Espanyol La Liga 30 3 - - - - 30 3
Ukraine League Ukrainian Cup Europe Total
2006–07 Metalurg Donetsk Ukrainian Premier League 13 0 - - - - 13 0
2007–08 15 0 - - - - 15 0
Malta League Maltese Cup Europe Total
2009–10 Valletta Maltese Premier League 17 10 - - 4 0 21 10
Total Spain 173 24 4 0 17 4 194 28
England 34 8 1 0 11 0 45 8
Ukraine 28 0 - - - - 28 0
Malta 17 10 - - 4 0 21 10
Career total 256 42 - - - - 260 42

Honours[edit]

Jordi with father Johan Cruyff and mother Danny Coster in 1977

Club[edit]

Barcelona

Manchester United

Valletta

  • National League 100 Anniversary Cup (1): 2010
  • Mare Blue Cup (1): 2010

Sources[edit]

  • Barça: A People's Passion (1998), Jimmy Burns.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jordi Cruyff - Manchester United FC - Football-Heroes.net". Sporting-heroes.net. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Jonathan McCleery (9 February 1974). "Jordi Cruyff: Manchester United Profile". Dnausers.d-n-a.net. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  3. ^ "Jordi Cruyff ha sido reconvertido... ¡en central! (Jordi Cruyff reconverted... as centre back!!)". Sport (in Spanish). 17 November 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "Qué fue de... Jordi Cruyff (What happened to... Jordi Cruyff)" (in Spanish). 28 April 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  5. ^ timesofmalta.com, Cruyff to hang up boots at end of season
  6. ^ "AEK Larnaca". Aek-larnaca.epik.com. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Timor, Lior (13 April 2012). "Jordi Cruyff signed an agreement with Maccabi Tel Aviv: It's a special club" (in Hebrew). ONE. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jordi Cruyff joins Maccabi Tel Aviv". Maccabi Tel Aviv FC. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Jordi Cruijff Profile" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  10. ^ "Barca: A People's Passion". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 December 2006. 

External links[edit]