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On this day in 1974, Johan Cruyff invented the 'Cruyff Turn' at the World Cup

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Before the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, there was Johan Cruyff. 

The Dutch forward was the true superstar of his era, winning three Ballon d'Or awards during his playing career, which spanned two decades. 

He began with Ajax in 1964, making 325 appearances and scoring 265 goals while in Amsterdam. 

Cruyff won six Eredivisie titles, five Dutch Cups and three European Cups during 10 seasons, before moving to Barcelona to cement his celebrity status.   

With the Blaugrana, he played 184 games between 1973 and 1978 and scored 61 goals.

The forward, who transitioned more into an attacking midfield role during those years, added a La Liga title and Copa del Rey to his trophy haul. 

Cruyff left Barca in 1978 and played out his twilight years in the North American Soccer League (precursor to the MLS) before moving back to Holland to retire in 1984 as a legend. 

Soon after, he turned his hand to management and had stints at both Ajax and Barca. As a coach, he was the most famous exponent of the philosophy known as 'Total Football'.

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But it's not just the goals, tactics and trophies that he became famous for throughout his career.  

On this day, 45 years ago, he created the 'Cruyff Turn' - a legendary skill move that is still popular today and will be used for decades to come.  

In a World Cup group game against Sweden, with his back to goal, Cruyff feigned a pass before dragging the ball back and turning 180 degrees to beat his defender. 

With that swift movement, the most iconic skill move in history was born. Check out the clip below to see the first ever Cruyff Turn in all its glory.  

Absolutely class. 

When Cruyff passed away in 2016, football lost a true icon. But his goals, tactics and of course, that famous turn, ensure that he'll be remembered forever. 

Topics:
Ajax
Football
Barcelona
World Cup

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