Back to Ajax
Although Cruijff finally ends his playing career in 1985, he remains active in football as an advisor, trainer and analyst. Cruijff has always been involved in the theory side of football. In his playing days he helped trainers introduce changes into the game. So it is a small step for Cruijff into the trainer’s dugout. In 1987, the Dutch football association, KNVB, presents him with a complementary trainer’s certificate in acknowledgement of his services to Dutch football. He starts with a short term at Roda JC as technical advisor, but soon returns as the dominant force at his old club Ajax. From 1985 to 1988 he is trainer. Various players testify that he is motivated and has excellent tactical insight. Under Cruijff, Ajax wins the European Cup again after fourteen years. The club also wins the KNVB Cup twice.
Tenure at FC Barcelona
In early 1988, Cruijff resigns and moves to what he calls his other club, FC Barcelona, to continue as a trainer there. He gets funding to create a Dream Team of the best players available. Under Cruijff, FC Barcelona is one of Europe’s most successful clubs.
Each year brings yet more silverware, in Spanish competitions and European.
The Catalans adore him, as well as his players. Then in May 1994 the tide begins to turn for Barcelona. The run of prizes ends and several players leave. Cruijff has led the club to four league championships and two European Cups. Cruijff decides to settle in Barcelona.
With so much footballing talent, it is only logical that soccer pundits ask Cruijff for his opinion. When he leaves Barcelona in 1996, Dutch NOS TV immediately grab him as an analyst for Champions League matches. His comments are incisive, and often introduce interesting innovations into the Dutch language.