Johan Cruyff’s 2008 prediction about Lionel Messi has emerged – and the late, great legendary footballer saw the future.
Cruyff, who sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 68, is not only one of the most talented players we’ve ever seen… he also possessed a footballing brain unrivalled by perhaps any other individual throughout history.
One of football’s most influential figures, Cruyff helped to popularise the philosophy of ’Total Football’.
He inspired some of modern football’s greatest coaches, including Pep Guardiola, and is more than partly responsible for the extraordinary success that Barcelona have enjoyed over the past few decades.
Cruyff, a three-time Ballon d’Or winner, played and managed Barça during his remarkable life.
And even after his spell as the club’s head coach ended in 1996, Cruyff was still a regular visitor at Camp Nou.
He had the privilege of witnessing the rise of Messi, the player considered by many as the greatest footballer in history.
And it didn’t take long for Cruyff to realise that the Argentine forward was a once-in-a-lifetime footballer.
What was Johan Cruyff’s prediction about Lionel Messi?
During a La Liga clash between Barcelona and Villarreal in 2008, the Sky Sports commentator said: “There was a very interesting comment by Johan Cruyff, who still lives around these parts and is still a regular here at the Camp Nou, he was talking about Lionel Messi.
“He says: ‘Still, only 20, he has a little bit to learn about the game: when to provide the right pass and when to dribble. When he fully understands that, he won’t just get one Golden Ball (Ballon d’Or), he’ll have an entire collection by the time his career ends’.
“When you’ve got a player of Cruyff’s stature saying that, you know you’ve arrived.”
The co-commentator added: “Without a doubt. You get accolades like that from one of the all-time greats, you know you’re hopefully going to play a big part in world football in years to come.”
Watch the clip here:
Sir Johan Cruyff's Ballon d'or prediction on Lionel Messi described by commentator in 2008. pic.twitter.com/4YKZiKoPWN— Oblivion (@LM10_0) August 9, 2022
Messi had just made this sensational run, hence why the commentators spoke about Cruyff’s prediction.
The run they were talking about: pic.twitter.com/TehPWIadFR— Oblivion (@LM10_0) August 9, 2022
How many Ballon d’Or awards has Lionel Messi won?
But he went on to win the next four and has since added three more to his collection since 2012.
Messi won his seventh and most-recent Ballon d’Or last November and it’s hard to see any player equalling his incredible record in either the short or long-term future.
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