Sunday, September 7, 2008

Johan Cruyff

I just saw that very annoying Amstel Lite commercial where the seemingly animatronic elderly Dutchman jibber jabbers something in Foreign and then bouncy music plays over a montage which depicts Amsterdam as one big non-stop keg party.

And for some reason that reminded me of a book I read recently entitled Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius Of Dutch Football by David Winner. It's a really well done overview of the history, style, and mixed results of Dutch football (calcio, soccer, etc). In it the author explores how such a small nation (Wikipedia says their total population is under 17,000,000) consistently produces such outrageously gifted yet frequently flawed players. Johann Cruyff is the undisputed king of Dutch soccer - almost as important to Dutch society as a whole as he was to Dutch football - and he figures heavily in this book. But it's hard to understand just how good a player was through reading along. So without further ado, here's a bit of Cruyff embarrassing defenses worldwide.

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