Cruyff-Barcelona join forces with Sundowns

One of the world greatest soccer stars and Dutch legend Johan Cruyff is joining forces with top South African club Mamelodi Sundowns. Also part of the deal are Spanish soccer kings Barcelona

Sowetan can reveal that Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe has roped in Cruyff to help re-launch their development programme.

The announcement will be made by Motsepe at a media briefing in Midrand today.

Cruyff has been in contact with Motsepe and is said to have recommended fellow Dutchman Johan Neeskens to coach Sundowns.

Neeskens will be unveiled at the same briefing.

A source close to Sundowns said: “Johan is definitely on board through his company, he has been having a series of meetings with Patrice on how to assist the club’s academy.  Spanish soccer giants Barcelona are also part of the package.

“The two parties have signed a three-year deal where consultants working for Johan’s company will be in charge of Sundowns academy.

“The academy is based at the old Heilbron College of Education in North West, more details about the partnership will be announced at the media briefing.”

Cruyff’s taste of soccer came when his mother, who was employed by Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam, persuaded the coaches to give him a trial.

He impressed and went on to represent Holland at the 1974 Fifa World Cup, where they won a silver medal after losing 2-1 to West Germany in the final.

Former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol, who is reported to be in the United States of America on family matters, was part of that Dutch side.

Cruyff won the Ballon d'Or three thrice in 1971, 1973 and 1974, a record jointly held with France’s Michel Platini and Marco van Basten from Holland.

He was one of the most celebrated exponents of the Dutch football philosophy known as Total Football explored by Rinus Michels.

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