Very few players will ever do something so original and so brilliant on a football pitch, that an eye-catching move is named after them.
Today, Johan Cruyff sadly died after a long battle with cancer aged 68.
Cruyff began his professional career with Dutch giants Ajax, before moving on to star for Barcelona, guiding the Spaniards to the La Liga title in 1973/74. Cruyff was hailed as a club legend for both clubs but is perhaps most fondly remembered for his famous turn in the 1974 World Cup.
The Dutch legend will always be best known for inventing a sublime piece of skill, showcased to the world in Dortmund when the creative wing-player bamboozled the Swedish defender Jan Olsson during the otherwise lifeless, goalless group stage draw.
It has been imitated thousands of times since, but never bettered. From amateur games to the highest level of professional football, fans and players have tried to mimic ‘The Cruyff Turn’.
Basic in its execution, the trick involved Cruyff looking one way to pass or cross the ball, but then dragging the ball behind his planting leg with his instep; turning 180 degrees and accelerating away from the defender into new-found space.
Social media immediately began to reminisce about the magical piece of skill:
— Anthony Fowler (@afowler06) March 24, 2016
Nooooo ? Johan Cruyff. Footballing legend. The first thing a young footballer will learn is the ‘Cruyff’ turn ⚽️ RIP
— Matty. (@matty_selley) March 24, 2016
Remember watching 1974 World Cup & Johan Cruyff doing his famous turn. We were straight out in the street after trying to do it ourselves.
— Orbinho (@Orbinho) March 24, 2016
Ajax’s Johan Cruyff tribute video https://t.co/8912kbTpdj
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 24, 2016