Jordi Cruyff

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Jordi Cruyff
Personal information
Full name Johan Jordi Cruijff
Date of birth (1974-02-09) 9 February 1974 (age 41)
Place of birth Amsterdam, 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 (loan) 11 (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– Maccabi Tel Aviv (sports 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. Cruyff is the current Maccabi Tel Aviv's sports director and former AEK Larnaca sports director. He is the son of Dutch former player and manager Johan Cruyff.

Under his stewardship as Maccabi Tel Aviv's Sports Director, the club have enjoyed a successful period, becoming a dominant force in Israeli football. The team won consecutive league titles from 2012-2015, as well as regularly qualifying for the Europa League and Champions League.

As a footballer, 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.

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 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, becoming the team's top scorer alongside Oscar Garcia Junyent. Two years later, Cryuff was promoted to 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, he made his top flight debut in a 2–1 defeat at Sporting Gijón. On 2 November, he played against Manchester United in the Champions League, setting up the first goal for Hristo Stoichkov, as Barcelona won 4–0.

That season, Barcelona finished 4th in La Liga and Jordi was one of the team's top scorers alongside Stoickhov and Koeman, despite not being a regular starter. Cryuff scored the goal that guaranteed Barcelona played in Europe the following season.

Despite a positive start to the following campaign, Barcelona finished 3rd and were runners up in the Copa del Rey. 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. Cruyff then scored on his next two appearances, helping the team 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 another knee injury. Jordi's spell at Manchester United was marked by injuries, but he played four games in the group stage of the Champions League the same season that the Red Devils claimed the title in 1999.

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 returning for United.

Cruyff's contract expired on 30 June 2000. In four years he played a total of 54 games for United and scored eight goals.[1][2] During his time with the club, Manchester United won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, 2 Charity Shields, one Champions League and one Intercontinental Cup.

Later years[edit]

After an initial agreement with Harry Redknapp's West Ham fell through, Jordi returned to Spain on a free transfer to Alavés. With the Basque club, 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.

Jordi decided against extending his contract with Espanyol and voluntarily left that summer. He then trained with Bolton, coached by Sam Allardyce, but failed a medical test. After he temporarily retired in 2004, Cruyff made a return to professional football in 2006, playing two seasons at Metalurh Donetsk, where he played mainly as a centre back. At the same time, he entered the fashion business, helping develop the Cruyff clothing brand.

In mid-2009, Cruyff signed a three-year deal as assistant-manager of Maltese side Valletta, assisting first team 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 first 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

Jordi was approached by both countries, Spain and Holland, when he was eligible to play for their Under 21 teams. He was unsure which country to represent, and in 1996 he declined the possibility to join the Spanish team for the Olympic Games, opting instead to play for the Dutch national team in Euro '96. His performances for Barcelona persuaded coach Guus Hiddink to include him in the Netherlands squad for the tournament. He made his debut for the national side in a 2–0 friendly defeat against Germany on 24 April 1996. Cruyff scored his only goal for the Netherlands during a 2–0 win against Switzerland at Villa Park on 13 June, and was one of six Dutch footballers to be selected for the Dutch national team while never having played in the Eredivisie.

Sports Director career[edit]

AEK Larnaca[edit]

In 2010, Cruyff announced his retirement from professional football and joined AEK Larnaca as Director of Football on a three year deal.[3][4] He appointed Ton Caanen as head coach, and the pair worked to establish the team as a new football powerhouse in Cyprus. In his first season, the team finished 4th and the team qualified for the UEFA Europa League. In his second season, AEK Larnaca qualified for the groups stage of the Europa League after beating Rosenborg in the play-offs.

The participation of the team in the Europa League 2011-12 was historic for both the club and for Cyprus football, as the club became the first Cypriot team to secure qualification to the Europa League (preceded by Anorthosis and APOEL in the group stages of the Champions League). The team finished 5th that season in the domestic league.

Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C.[edit]

In April 2012, Cruyff was appointed by Mitchell Goldhar, owner of Maccabi Tel Aviv, as the Sports Director of the football club paying compensation to AEK Larnaca.[5][6] His initial work included signing Óscar García Junyent, then head coach of FC Barcelona Juvenil A, as head coach of the club.

Jordi Cruyff's arrival finally put an end to Maccabi Tel Aviv's bad fortunes in the league as they won their first championship in ten years. Under Cryuff's and Garcia's stewardship, Maccabi dominated the league and claimed the title by thirteen points ahead of their nearest rival. The team finished the season as the league's highest scorers, with 78, whilst only conceding 30 - the fewest in the league.

The 2013-2014 season saw a change in the club's coach position, when Cruyff appointed the Portuguese coach, Paulo Sousa to replace Garcia, after the Spanish coach was signed by the English Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion FC. During this period, many players left the club whilst several others were recruited.

The team continued its success in the league competition by claiming another league title by a margin of 16 points. The club also enjoyed success in the Europa League as they advanced to the round of 32 following a difficult group stage, where they beat Bordeaux (twice) and Eintracht Frankfurt before eventually exiting the competition following a loss to FC Basel.

The 2014-2015 season was characterized by a difficult start. Operation Protective Edge meant that the qualifying games to the UEFA Champions League were held away from Israel, leading Maccabi to be ousted from both the Champions League and the Europa League. There was also a change in club manager following Paulo Sousa's appointment at FC Basel. Oscar Garcia briefly returned but left before the beginning of the season when Cruyff appointed Pako Ayestaran, former assistant to Rafa Benitez at Liverpool. Maccabi Tel Aviv became the first Israeli team to win all three local trophies: the Israeli Premier League, the Israel State Cup and the Toto Cup.

In April 2015, Jordi renewed his contract for a further 2 years despite interest from English Championship and Bundesliga sides.

In the 2015-2016 season, Jordi Cruyff appointed Slavisa Jokanovic as head coach after the Serbian had promoted Watford to the Premier League. The team qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time in 11 years, playing against Chelsea, Porto and Dynamo Kyiv in Group G before exiting the competition. Jordi successfully appointed Vitesse's Peter Bosz after Jokanovic signed as the new Fulham's head coach at the end of December.

Statistics[edit]

As of 26 September 2009[7]
Club performance League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Club Season Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona 1993–94 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
Total 41 11 4 0 9 0 54 11
Manchester United 1996–97 FA Premier League 16 3 0 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 22 3
1997–98 5 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 8 0
1998–99 5 2 0 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 11 2
1999–2000 8 3 0 0 1 0 4 0 4 0 17 3
Total 34 8 1 0 5 0 11 0 7 0 58 8
Celta Vigo (loan) 1998–99 La Liga 8 2 1 0 0 0 9 2
Deportivo Alavés 2000–01 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
Total 94 8 3 0 13 4 110 12
Espanyol 2003–04 La Liga 30 3 30 3
Metalurg Donetsk 2006–07 Ukrainian Premier League 13 0 13 0
2007–08 15 0 15 0
Total 28 0 28 0
Valletta 2009–10 Maltese Premier League 17 10 4 0 21 10
Career total 252 42 9 0 5 0 37 4 7 0 310 46

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.[8]

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. ^ timesofmalta.com, Cruyff to hang up boots at end of season
  4. ^ "AEK Larnaca". Aek-larnaca.epik.com. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Jordi Cruyff joins Maccabi Tel Aviv". Maccabi Tel Aviv FC. 13 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Jordi Cruijff Profile" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  8. ^ "Barca: A People's Passion". Amazon.com. Retrieved 26 December 2006. 

External links[edit]