Enjoy Yourself When You Play – Johan Cruijff (Cruyff)


Enjoy Yourself

“The main thing for everybody, especially for a sportsman, is that you must enjoy yourself otherwise you will never enjoy it and never be good at it. I say to my son. Do whatever you want to do. Do it with pleasure.” source: Johann Cruijff, Tribute to a footballing visionary . BBC 5 Live. Note: Cruyff is the Anglisation of the Dutch name Cruijff.

Laugh & Enjoy Yourself

Laugh & Enjoy Yourself - Johan Cruijff
Laugh & Enjoy Yourself – Johan Cruijff

“If you can laugh and enjoy yourself, it is one of the most important things there is.” Johan Cruijff

See how smiling can improve your performance


World’s Best Player

Johan Cruijff was widely regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. He was , in fact, the world’s best player in the 1974 World Cup Finals and he received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament. He led Holland to the 1974 FIFA World Cup final. He helped Dutch football to rise up from obscurity to become a powerhouse in world football.   It was here that the word saw the Cruijff Turn.

The Cruyff Turn

Family Comes First

Although he was still, arguably, the best player in the world,  Johan Cruijff  decided not to play in the 1978 World Cup, because his family suffered an attempted kidnapping  and so he said “I made the decision to stop in ’78. Hey I’m in the wrong time. There are too many crazy people. Let’s calm down.”

He had already played with Ajax Amsterdam and helped them to win 3 consecutive European Cups (& 8 championships between 1964 & 1973). In 1974 he moved to Barcelona and helped them from bottom of the table to become champions.

To Enjoy Is Much More Important Than Only Winning

He came back as a manager many years later and helped Barcelona win the European Cup in 1992 at Wembley for the first time in their 100 year history. Cruijff was delighted and said: “And now, you didn’t only win it, but the way you won it. Don’t talk about You: ‘No. no. You won the game. No. No. We enjoy watching. Enjoying a game for Barcelona is much more important than only winning.”

Total Football & Total Humanity

Cruyff was an exponent of the Dutch philosophy of ‘Total Football’ – where any player  can move and play anywhere while his companion covers any gaps left behind.  This is exciting football to watch. The spirit of Johan Cruijff lives on forever, in his Cruyff Foundation which helps less fortunate children to play sport.

Respect One Another

Respect one another (Rule No. 3 from the 14 Rules of Johan Cruyff)

Be Social 

Social Involvement – crucial in sport and even more so in life in general (Rule No. 8 from the 14 Rules of Johan Cruyff)

Learn Something New Everyday 

Learn something new everyday (Rule No. 12 from the 14 Rules of Johan Cruyff)

I Enjoyed Myself Very Much

“(I) don’t think about it too much because you get big headed about it. It’s just that I had a fantastic career where I enjoyed myself very much.”


As his son Jordi says, he was a legend and that “the rest of us are mere mortals”.


Thank you Johan Cruijff (1947-2016)


Smiling Helps You Win In Sport and in Life

Leave a Reply