About the Book

My Turn

My Turn

A Life of Total Football
October 2016
Not Yet Published
Hardcover · 336 Pages
$26.99 U.S. · $34.99 CAN · €20.99 E.U.
ISBN 9781568585710
Nation Books


“Johan Cruyff: Your legacy will live on forever.”— Lionel Messi Johan Cruyff is Europe’s greatest ever soccer player, bar none. Brave, competitive, and possessed of such grace that a choreographer declared he was a more natural dancer than Rudolph Nureyev, he embodied and exported a philosophy of how the game should be played that now dominates coaches across the world at all the leading club sides, most notably at Barcelona, but also at Arsenal, Bayern, Juventus and of course Ajax. This is his only autobiography. It was at Ajax that Cruyff started playing on his tenth birthday. He made his debut with Ajax in 1964, scoring the only goal for the team, and went on to lead them to victory in the league championships eight times and in the European cups three times. At only twenty-four years old, Cruyff won his first of three the Ballons d'Or in 1971. In 1973 Cruyff was sold to Barcelona for approximately $2 million, then a world record transfer fee. He led that team to victory in La Liga for the first time since 1960 and went on to leave a lasting mark on Spanish soccer. He was named World Player of the Year in the 1974 World Cup, by which time he had helped propel the Dutch national team to the finals. He retired in from playing 1984 and became the highly successful coach of Ajax and later of FC Barcelona. Later, he went on to become an invaluable advisor to both teams. In 1999, Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century and came in second only to Pelé as World Player of the Century. Cruyff unerringly spoke truth to power. In 1974 he stood up to Spanish dictator General Franco when he named his son Jordi after the Catalan patron saint at a time when symbols of Catalan nationalism were prohibited. This caused a scandal that confirmed Cruyff’s status as hero among Barcelona supporters and Catalan nationalists. A proponent and early adopter of “Total Football” , and uncontainable when employing his signature move, “the Cruyff turn,” he is remembered as one of the most influential figures in soccer history, a legend truly deserving of the accolade.

About the Author

Johan Cruyff won the Ballon d’Or three times and led the Dutch national team to the final of the 1974 World Cup. Cruyff started his career at Ajax where he won eight national titles and three European Cups. In 1973 he moved to Barcelona for a world record transfer fee, winning La Liga in his first season. He was a proponent of the philosophy known as “Total Football.” In 1999, Cruyff was voted European Player of the Century. After his retirement in 1984, he became the manager of Ajax and later FC Barcelona. He managed the Cruyff Foundation, the Cruyff Institute, Cruyff Classics, and the Cruyff Library, and wrote a weekly column for De Telegraaf. Cruyff passed away in March 2016, in Barcelona.