Johan Cruyff is 65 years old today. One of the best footballers of all time, successful coach, football philosopher, linguistic innovator, social benefactor, living legend and eternal number 14. Test your knowledge of the legend in the Great Big Johan Cruyff 65 year quiz.
1. What dubious honour fell to Cruyff in 1966 as a player with the Dutch national team?
a. He was the first Dutch player to get a red card.
b. He scored the fastest goal of all time.
c. He was the first player to be dropped from the team because of a row about kit sponsorship.
2. What strange experience did Cruyff have in 1974 in Spain?
a. He had his own talk show on Spanish TV: El Salvador Habla
b. He had a hit in Spain with a Dutch carnival song: Otro buen chut
c. He featured as an extra in an erotic Spanish movie: Catorce en la Piscina
3. What made Cruyff so popular in Barcelona after the birth of his son Jordi in 1974?
a. The birth had been planned with a caesarean section so that Cruyff could play against Real Madrid a week later: 5-0.
b. Jordi is the name of the patron saint of the autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia.
c. Jordi also turned out to be a pretty good footballer and he played for Barcelona in the 1990s.
4. Cruyff had major successes with the Dutch squad at the World Cup in Germany in 1974. But they still lost the final against Germany (1-2) and Cruyff’s play lacked sparkle. What was reportedly the reason?
a. The swimming pool incident: scantily-clad women turned up at the swimming pool at the hotel where the Dutch team were staying, which plunged Cruyff’s marriage to Danny into a crisis.
b. The kit sponsorship incident: Cruyff wanted to play the final in a strip sponsored by a different brand, which created discord among the players.
c. The poker incident: Cruyff was caught cheating at cards, which led to a row with his team mates.
5. To the Netherlands’ great sadness, Cruyff wasn’t on the team for the World Cup in Argentina in 1978. Why not?
a. Cruyff strongly objected to the World Cup being held in a country ruled by a military regime.
b. His wife Danny wouldn’t let him, reportedly because of the swimming pool incident four years earlier.
c. Cruyff wasn’t picked for the team because of a row with the football association over kit sponsorship.
6. What was the disaster that befell Cruyff’s farewell match for Ajax against Bayern Munich in November 1978?
a. The match was called off because Cruyff had a row with Ajax about kit sponsorship.
b. Cruyff fell off his bike the day before the match and couldn’t play.
c. Bayern Munich beat Ajax 8-0.
7. What did Cruyff get from Ajax as a leaving present?
a. A colour television
b. A Citroën SM
c. A painting by Karel Appel
8. Cruyff had stopped playing in 1978, but in 1979 he put his boots back on. He went to play in the US, for the Los Angeles Aztecs. Why?
a. He was drawn by the idea of building up soccer in the US.
b. It was his wife Danny’s dream to live in Hollywood.
c. He needed the money. Cruyff was bankrupt because of a failed investment in a dodgy Catalan pig farm.
9. Cruyff retuned as a player for Ajax in 1981, aged 34. What did he do in his first match?
a. He scored an sublime goal, silencing all the criticism about his advancing age.
b. He banished manager Leo Beenhakker to the stands because he disagreed with his tactics.
c. Halfway through the first half he had to be carried off the pitch exhausted.
10. How many times in his career did Johan Cruyff become national champion?
a. 10 times
b. 14 times
c. 18 times
11. What did Johan Cruyff say about the anti-Islam Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders?
a. You can agree with him or disagree with him, but he’s certainly livened things up a bit.
b. He’s a scarecrow with weird hair and you can’t take him seriously.
c. With Wilders, it’s just like football: you’ve got to shoot or you can’t score.
12. In the past year Cruyff caused a stir as a member of the board at Ajax. What historically controversial remark did he make about fellow board member Edgar Davids?
a. You’re only here because you’re a good footballer.
b. You’re only here because you’re black.
c. You’re only here because you’re a board member.
13. After his successes as advisor in Barcelona and Amsterdam, Cruyff also set off to work in Latin America this year. What’s he doing there?
a. He’s advising the Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara, up to now without much success.
b. He’s working on a successful promotional campaign for the Venezuelan game.
c. He’s a monthly guest on a football talk show on Cuban TV.
14. Worldwide, the Cruyff Foundation has constructed more than 100 Cruyff Courts, special football fields for young people in residential areas. Which countries have no Cruyff Courts?
a. Israel and Morocco
b. Uganda and South Africa
c. China and Indonesia
1. A. In his second international (against Czechoslovakia) he was sent off for hitting the referee.
2. B - listen here
3. A, B and C
6. C - see the final minutes here
9. A - see the goal here