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TIME TO SELL MESSI?

Former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff is regarded as one of the legends in the game. He has said that Barcelona should now consider selling Argentine ace Lionel Messi after securing the signature of Santos striker Neymar for around A? 50 million. The highly rated Brazilian striker has joined Barcelona ahead of the likes of Real Madrid and Chelsea, who were also in the hunt for his signature. The 21-year-old is clearly the future of Barcelona. Lionel Messi is at the peak of his powers at 26 years of age, but Cruyff thinks that this is probably right time for Barcelona to sell the Argentine star.

He is of the opinion that the presence of Neymar will certainly cause some tension within the squad, which can be avoided by the sale of Messi. It remains to be seen if this suggestion will actually take place because Messi is regarded as the best player in the world. He has won the last four FIFA Ballon da��Or awards to prove this aspect. It also remains to be seen at any club can afford Messi, who has a release clause of A? 200 million in his contract. Due to Neymar’s style of play, it will be difficult to accommodate both him and Messi in the same team according to Cruyff.

a�?With Neymar on board, I would have planned for the possibility of selling Messi. Some would agree with me and others would not. Neymara��s arrival could cause problems. Just look at free kicks for example. Neymar is very good at taking them. And Messi has already shown he is great, too. Whoa��s going to take them. Or the fact that Neymar and Barcelona are with Nike while Leo is with Adidas. These are situations that could cause problems,” said Cruyff to the Spanish daily Marca.

CLOSE FINISH

The Dutch league is probably one of the closest in terms of the title race across Europe. At least three teams like Ajax, PSV, and Feyenoord are battling out for the title with only a handful of matches remaining. Ajax, though, gained a superior advantage in the battle for the title by managing to beat one of their main rivals a�� PSV Eindhoven a�� 3-2 in a recent match between the two clubs. Ajax legend Johan Cruyff has praised Ajax for this brilliant victory. Cruyff left the Ajax board a few years ago after falling out with the board over differences about how the club should be run.

However, he has revealed that Ajax will always remain close to his heart. He expects Ajax now to go on and win the title after establishing a five point lead at the top of the table. As a result of the defeat, PSV are now level on points with Feyenoord on the table. These two clubs are now expected to battle for the Champions league positions. Only the league winner qualifiers for the Champions League automatically, while the remaining two teams have to go through a play-offs. Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven are the major challenges for the second spot, while Vitesse also remain in with a shout.

“They were set up to be offensively stronger and that boosted their chances of victory. I thought that was very positive to see. Ajax did not look at what the other team was doing, but played the game to win. The remaining four league games are therefore primarily a matter of being professional,” said Johan Cruyff, who spent a few months at Mexican club as an advisor. However, he was sacked from his advisory role only recently. He is regarded as a legend at Ajax and Barcelona.

LAUDRUP SIGNS NEW DEAL

The Swansea manager Michael Laudrup recently signed a new long-term deal with the club after being linked with several major clubs over the last few months. He managed to get Swansea to the first major trophy in their history after winning the League Cup recently.

He took over from Brendan Rodgers in the summer, and he was expected to have a difficult time helping the club stay in the Premier league in their second season. However, he has been exceeding these expectations so far. The former Barcelona midfielder has credited the influence of the Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff as the reason behind his success of late. Continue reading

CRUYFF BACKS GURDIOLA

The Barcelona and Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has said that he is extremely happy with the decision taken by the former Barcelona manager Guardiola to join the German club Bayern Munich at the end of the season. Guardiola is currently on sabbatical after leaving Barcelona at the end of last season. He has managed to become one of the most successful managers after getting Barcelona to 14 trophies including two Champions league titles during his four-year spell with the club. One of the main reasons for the success being applauded by fans around the world is the fact that Guardiola adopted the Johan Cruyff style of football at the Camp Nou.

The next managerial job of the 42-year-old was kept under wraps until recently when the German club Bayern Munich announced that they had agreed a three-year deal with the former Barcelona man. They have managed to beat the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for the signature of one of the coveted managers in world football. Cruyff has said that Guardiola has clearly taken his decision on the football philosophies more than anything else. He is extremely confident that he will once again be as successful as he was at Barcelona.

“Last week I was on holiday in Africa and I was called by Pep Guardiola. Pep was inundated with offers but ultimately chose a pure football challenge. I said I am proud and delighted with his decision,” said the former Barcelona player and manager, Cruyff. Barcelona’s passing style of football first originated under the Dutch midfielder, who then went on to imprint his philosophy by managing the team during a similarly successful period. Cruyff is currently out of work after having recently been relieved of his duties as a technical advisor at the Mexican club Chivas de Guadalajara.

AJAX MISSING ERIKSEN

The Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen has ruled out the possibility of joining a Premier league club during the January transfer window by saying that he still has to weigh up his transfer options. The 20-year-old playmaker has been one of the sought-after players in European football, with many tipping him for an extraordinary bright future. He has been linked with several Premier league clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United, and Manchester City over the past few seasons. He feels that he is still young and can stay at Ajax for a few more time before moving to a big club.

Despite being only 20 years of age, he has already made close to 150 appearances for the Ajax team. He has said that he had the opportunity to join Manchester City more than 18 months ago, but rejected the opportunity because the club back in transition. He said that if he did not perform well in the first few matches of his Manchester City career, then he would have been sent out on loan to various clubs and his career would have fallen. He is now looking at a club where he will be the first team regular and will only move after confirming the same.

“I don’t think so. If something really exciting is coming, maybe you would look at it. But my feeling now is take it easy and see when it comes. I think for everyone who wants to get to the highest level, you have to be in the Premier League, of course. But when that should be, I have no idea. Maybe 10 years. I’m going to see what opportunities there are but I’m still happy here and I don’t have any thoughts that I have to leave,” said the 20-year-old, who could cost in the region of A? 30 million.

CRUYFF LEAVES CHIVAS

The former Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has been relieved of his duties as the advisor to the Mexican club Chivas. The Dutchman is regarded as one of the greatest players to have graced the game, but he has been in charge of the Mexican club for only nine months. He was appointed as the advisor to the club after leaving his role at Ajax earlier. The Dutchman was expected to provide its expertise a number of matters including signing players and developing the youth academy. Chivas are the club known for producing the talented youngsters like Hernandez, who have gone on to better things in recent times.

However, since the arrival of the former Barcelona legend, the Mexican club have struggled to get results on the pitch. It is thought that is interference in a number of day-to-day matters has been the responsible factor for this slump in form, but it has not been revealed by the Mexican club. Instead, they have said that the club will not be making any changes to the staff at the moment, but the Dutchman will be the only person to lose his job as a result of this poor form. The club has thanked the Dutchman for his services over this nine-month period.

“The club has decided to terminate the services and consultancy with the company of Mr Johan Cruyff. This is because of not meeting the outcomes and objectives that have been established since the beginning of the contractual relationship. The coaching staff will not be affected, therefore technical director, trainer and technical assistants will continue to work with the club. The club thank Mr Johan Cruyff for the support and collaboration he has provided,” said the club in an official statement released on its website. The club are currently eighth in the league table.

CRUYFF SPOKE TO PEP

Johan Cruyff has said that Pep Guardiola decided to resign from the post of Barcelona manager because he wanted to take a break from football management.

Guardiola had stepped down as the manager of Barcelona at the end of the last season. There have been reports that Guardiola wanted to release some high profile Barcelona players, but, he wasna��t allowed to do so. Thata��s why, he decided to quit. But, Cruyff doesna��t think so. When he was asked why Guardiola decided to resign, he said, a�?I think he wanted to have a bit of break. Football management is an intense job. And, if you are the manager of a big club, the job becomes even tougher. He had got tired mentally.a�?

a�?I met him a few days ago and he told me that he would take any decision about his future after a few months.a�?

The Barcelona team performed brilliantly and won a number of titles under the guidance of Guardiola. But, the exit of Guardiola doesna��t seem to have affected the performance of the team. Barca is performing equally well in the ongoing season under the guidance of its new manager Tito Vilanova.

Barcelona is at the top of the La Liga points table at the moment with 25 points in 9 matches. Barca is yet to lose a match in the ongoing La Liga.

When asked about the performance of the new Barca manager, Cruyff said, a�?Vilanova has been a part of the team since quite a while and he has a good tuning with the players. So, he was expected to do a good job as the manager. Things are going all right for him at the moment, but, his real test will come when some key Barca players lose form.a�?

CRUYFF SLAGS OFF REAL

The former Barcelona manager Johan Cruyff has criticised the Real Madrid manager JosA� Mourinho for everything to be centred about him. The former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager recently won the la Liga title with Real Madrid, thus becoming one of the most successful in the world after having won titles in Portugal, England, Italy, and Spain. However, the former Barcelona manager and the Dutch international Johan Cruyff has said that the Portuguese does things too often in order to grab attention, thus putting him in front of the team. JosA� Mourinho will be getting his team ready for the next match against Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa at the Camp Nou.

Since this is the first leg of the encounter, Real Madrid will be looking to adopt a more defensive approach in the match. Johan Cruyff has said that it is not about the manager when two clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid come together. Mourinho claimed himself to be the ‘Special One’ when he took over at Chelsea in 2004. The name has followed him ever since. He has also managed to live up to their reputation by winning titles like the Champions League, Italian Serie A, and others in his career since then.

“As a player he was not up to much and now he is able to do something. How do you make sense of some calling themselves ‘the only one?’ It is good to put that name on a jersey, but nothing more. I do not like that sort of behavior. He must show his worth when times are bad. We must wait to make a decision. It is not the same as being in the background with Pep Guardiola in front. That is something different,” said Johan Cruyff ahead of this much anticipated encounter.

AJAX BEAT NEMINGEN

Ajax has secured its first victory in the new season by defeating NEC Nijmegen by a huge margin of 6-1. The Ajax players were in destructive mood and they just demolished the Nijmegen team. Ajax didna��t manage to win its opening match of the season and the team had to play a draw against AZ Alkmaar. But, the team is back on track with this dominating performance. The Nijmegen defenders kept struggling throughout the match. Tobias Sana scored 2 goals for Ajax.

Jody Lukoki scored the first goal for Ajax in the 13th minute of the match. Lasse Schone set up the goal and Lukoki just had to give the finishing touch which he did perfectly. Christian Eriksen doubled the lead of Ajax in the 17th minute of the match when he beat the Nijmegen goalkeeper, Gabor Babos, with a fantastic shot. Just seven minutes later, Ajax got up by 3-0 when Tobias sana scored his first goal in the match. Theo Jansson gave Nijmegen another blow just a few minutes before the half time break. He put the ball into the goal post with a powerful shot from a distance of 25 yards. Babos dived to stop the ball, but, he failed in doing so. With that goal, Ajax got ahead by 4-0. There were no more goals in the first half.

Ajax made a very good start to the second half as well. De Jong netted in the 53rd minute of the match to make the score 5-0. After the fifth goal, the game was almost decided and there were only formalities left in the game. Bram Nuytinck scored the first goal for Nijmegen in the 63rd minute by capitalizing on a corner kick from Soren Rieks. But, Ajax had the last laugh when Sana scored his second goal in the match in the 81st minute. Sana was named as the player of the match for his brilliant performance.

RIJKAARD IS THE PERFECT CHOICE

The Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has said that the former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard is the perfect man for the Dutch national team manager job. The Netherlands managed to go all the way in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, but lost in the match to Spain. As a result, they were coming into the Euro 2012 with a lot of expectations. Players like Robin van Persie were in the prime and were also in extremely good form. However, they managed to suffered three defeats in the three group matches to exit the competition in the group stages itself.

Following the embarrassing into the tournament, the Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk offered his resignation from the post. The Dutch football Association are currently looking at the various managers to appoint as the replacement. The former Dutch international Johan Cruyff has said that the football Association need not look beyond the former Barcelona manager Frank Rijkaard, who is probably the perfect man to lead the nation to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Some of the senior members of the squad like Robin van Persie will be passed their prime during this World Cup. However, Johan Cruyff believes that Rijkaard can handle the egos within the team.

“Rijkaard has shown he dares to make radical choices when needed. The Dutch team must start again with a new staff and changes in the squad. Regarding the latter: it should be a mix of current internationals and younger talent. This process requires a lot of work to be performed by someone accustomed to this level, including some painful decisions. You must be looked up to as a coach and respected,” Cruyff said in interview given to the Voetbal International. Frank Rijkaard is the national team manager of Saudi Arabia, and has excellent international experience.