In a week that saw the once great Barcelona humiliated in a crushing 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich, a reminder from FourFourTwo of what Johan Cruyff brought to the club.
Four years on from his passing, we look at the enduring legacy Johan Cruyff left at the Nou Camp – and what it means for football worldwide today
“Johan Cruyff painted the chapel, and Barcelona coaches since merely restore or improve it” – Pep Guardiola
It’s 7pm on April 28, 1988. The Hesperia hotel on the Carrer dels Vergos, a tight street to the north of Barcelona city centre and five minutes by car from the Nou Camp, is abuzz.
Twenty-one Barça players, plus head coach Luis Aragones, sit behind a conference table in a plush meeting room. “President Josep Lluis Nunez has deceived us as people and humiliated us as professionals,” reads square-shouldered captain Alexanko from a statement. “In conclusion, although this request is usually the preserve of the club’s members, the squad suggest the immediate resignation of the president.”
The declaration is as shocking as it is unprecedented. “Nunez doesn’t feel the colours of this club, nor does he love the fans,” adds midfielder Victor Munoz. “He only loves himself.”
The club is openly at war. With itself. Over money. The Spanish treasury is investigating every Blaugrana contract, believing tax to be owed because each squad member must have separate playing deals and image rights agreements. When club officials insist the players make up the difference to the taxman, the squad demand president Nunez’s head.
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