Pep Guardiola y Johan Cruyff en la final de Wembley 92 – CrackA?via

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Johan Cruyff says Argentina are team to beat

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has tipped Lionel Messi and Argentina to go all the way and secure their long awaited third World Cup crown this summer in Brazil.

And the former Barcelona manager has also backed the likes of Germany, Italy and Spain to go far in the competition as well.

Brazil remain strong favorites to secure their sixth World Cup on home soil, but Cruyff believes it will be the Messi led Argentina that will be the team to beat at the biggest event of the beautiful game. The 67 year old believes Brazil has too much pressure riding on them as they look to vanquish the ghosts of 1950 and secure the coveted title.

And the Dutchman thinks this pressure could force Brazil to succumb and that is where Argentina could capitalize on their great rivalsa�� fall and secure the title for their own.

Speaking on his column in a Dutch newspaper, Johan Cruyff added that the pressure on the squad is huge; there is too much riding on them. But they will have to look out for Argentina, which has arguably the most talented team in the World Cup by a margin.

He went on to mention that Spain will pose a strong challenge, as well as Italy and Germany who have a habit of growing into the tournament.

Johan Cruyff also rued the several injury absentees from the World Cup with top class players like Marco Reus, Radamel Falcao, Frank Ribery and several others missing due to injuries.

Several others including Cristiano Ronaldo, Steven Gerrard, Neymar and Arturo Vidal are all struggling with injuries and Cruyff hopes these players get fit in time. He mentioned that this is a month long event and he is not happy that injured players have already been dropped from the squads.

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Cruyff Puts Barcalona Under Fire

According to several reports, Barcelona are set to offer super star Lionel Messi another new contract. This news comes as a major surprise considering that he signed a new deal only 12 months ago. Messi, who is about to turn 27 in June, has already signed seven contract renewals in the last 11 seasons. The new deal is expected to make him the player with the highest salary of around A? 15.5 million per year. The deal, though, is expected to significantly reward Barcelona because they will be now receiving a large portion of his image rights.

This will mean that Messi will be suffering a drop in overall income when compared with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, as Barcelona will not be pocketing his image rights. The new contract, though, has come under criticism from Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, who thinks that the contract extension is unwarranted. Cruyff has been highly critical of the club in recent months. Gerardo Martino especially has come under fire from the legend, who famously formed the philosophy of the club. After having witnessed it come under distraction from the new manager, he says that the club should rethink their philosophy once again.

Cruyff was an advisor Barcelona for a few years before leaving his post.

“I never speak of who does or doesn’t deserve it, but I think that Barcelona have played quite well this season and they still have the chance to win the league, and therefore they also deserve it. The renewal of Messia��s contract is just a quick fix because all eyes were on him after the Neymar situation. But what about other players like Xavi who have also given everything to BarA�a? It’s not Neymar’s fault: he’s the victim; I don’t want to discredit him. His agent didn’t do things properly,a�? said the Dutchman.

CRUYFF SLAMS MOURIHO

Jose Mourinho is a coach that has made a number of controversial decisions and actions which is one of the reasons on why some players and coaches consider the Portuguese coach to be one of the best of his generation while others contemplate him as a negative coach who always blames his players when things go wrong.

The Dutch legend Johan Cruyff claims that Jose Mourinho only thinks about the result above everything and the star of Barcelona is even predicting that Mourinho will lose control of the Chelsea dressing room just as what happened in Spain with Real Madrid.

It’s always the same with him. When things are going well, it’s the result of his good work, but the players are to blame when things are going badly. He already lost the dressing room at Real Madrid because of that and I can see the same happen at Chelsea. “The problem is simply that Mourinho always focuses squarely on the result. Everything else is secondary, even all the top players he has running around for him.”Cruyff revealed.

Cruyff coached Barcelona during 1988-1996 where he managed to secure 11 trophies and his contributions for the Spanish club have not gone unnoticed as he was named as a honorary president of Barcelona in March of 2010 but a few months later Sandro Rossell stripped the Dutchman of that role and Cruyff cut all of his relations he had with Barcelona.

According to the new president of Barcelona FC, Josep Bartomeu he has been contacting Cruyff who he considers to be a very important player for the club.

“We have been in contact with people close to Cruyff. We will keep talking. He is a very important person for us and for this club. Little by little, things will return to normal.” Bartomeu said.

He also stated that his recent call ups with Cruyff are a way to reward him for all the work he has done for Barcelona. Barcelonaa��s infamous tiki-taka style of playing is generally credited to Johan Cruyff as it was during his time in charge of the Spanish club that it was starting being created and developed.

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Charlie Wakefield inspired by Johan Cruyff

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REMY BACKED BY CRUYFF

Newcastle United striker Loic Remy, who is on loan from QPR till the end of the season, has been a huge hit at St Jamesa��s Park. He has already scored 13 goals in just 24 matches for the club. It includes the winner against Aston Villa recently. It looked like the match was heading into a stalemate with both clubs unable to find the opening goal, but the Frenchman stepped up to score the only goal of the game in injury time to give Newcastle three vital points. After the match, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew gave the highest possible praise for the Frenchman by comparing him with Dutch legend Johan Cruyff.

He says that Cruyff had an ability to slow the game down for his benefit and Remy is one of the few players he has seen do the same. The Frenchman has already been attracting a lot of attention from other Premier league clubs in the last few months. Pardew has admitted that Newcastle face a huge fight in order to keep him at the club, while he has even said that he may go to extreme lengths in order to keep him at St Jamesa��s Park. The former West Ham manager says that Remy maybe dropped for the next match in order to prevent interest in him from growing.

“I think that’s fairly obvious. Somebody just said to me the game seemed a little bit slower when he was on the ball and I think when you get a quality player that’s what they can do. Players like Cruyff and Bergkamp, they can slow the game down and he can do that. He’s going to be hot property, he’s going to get a lot of press tomorrow and I’m going to leave him out the next 11(!)” said Pardew.

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CRUYFF NETS AWARD

The legend of Barcelona, Johan Cruyff was awarded with the 2013 UEFA Presidenta��s Award as a way to recognize his achievements in revolutionizing how the Dutch superstar has influenced the sport in both of his roles as a player and a coach.

The UEFA president, Michael Platini was the person that gave Cruyff the award and the former player of Barcelona later stated that it is one of the highest accolades that you can get.

a�?It is a great privilege for me to present the UEFA Presidenta��s Award toA�Johan Cruyff, one of the truly great footballers and ambassadors for the game. First as a player and then as a coach, he was committed to entertaining the public with his own unique brand of football.a�? Those were the words that Platini used to describe Cruyff as he was giving the former Dutch player, the prestigious award.

Cruyff stepped up and received the award by saying:

a�?Herea��s Amsterdam where it started. Ia��m really proud to have received this award. This is one of the highest accolades you can get. Ita��s unique when you think of players like Beckenbauer and Di StefA?no and all these players who have had a huge impact in their countries, and the fact that you are part of that is amazing.a�?

Alfredo Di Stefano, Franz Beckenbauer, Bobby Charlton, Raymond Kopa, Gianni Rivera and Eusebio are some of the other previous winners of the award. Some of the highlights of Cruyffa��s playing career are when he won 4 consecutive La Liga titles with Barcelona and when named into the dream team of the Catalan club.

The 66 years old tactician has also set up the Johan Cruyff Foundation which helps improve the lives of mentally as well as physically challenged children.