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Showing posts from March, 2016

Vale Johan

The 1974 World Cup was the first one I ever saw. By virtue of it being the first one Australia had qualified for, it was beamed live to our shores. I can't remember if I watched any of it live, as it would have been at odd hours here and I was just a kid, but I do remember watching the Socceroos eking out a credible 2-0 loss to East Germany in the rain – Ray Richards skidding across the puddles in what seemed like a 20 yard slide tackle – and I do recall the final. And Cruyff.
We lost the great Dutchman last week and it was a sad moment for me, as it must have been for many. In that final, Cruyff with his two-striped kit – he famously refused to wear the tri-stripe Adidas kit – the magical number 14 and the the arrogant, cool of one of the greats in his prime was the undoubted star in the firmament.
I didn't know much about football then, but I was Holland all the way. Why? I reckon it was the pop star swagger of the likes of Rep, Neeskens, Haan, Krol, Rijsbergen, Rensenb…