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08.04.2010 15:27

Recognition of the man who created a style

Vanessa Forns

In a solemn event, Johan Cruyff has been officially made president of honour in Sala Paris. Joan Laporta was there at this recognition of the man who created the modern-day Barça style.

Sala París was packed with different people from his time both as a player and a manager, and also the current team, including coach Josep Guardiola and the four captains. Other sporting dignitaries were also there, along with several members of the media, for the unveiling of the president of honour of FC Barcelona. This was Cruyff’s moment, a man Joan Laporta said “is a merited footballer and coach and the creator of the Barça style of play”.

2010-04-08_CRUYFF_022.JPG“As a player he turned football into an art form … Johan came along and revolutionised everything … the modern day Barça started with him … He is the expression of our identity … He brought us a style of football we love … There is a huge sense of gratitude to a Barcelona personage who gave everything … this love between Cruyff, Barcelona, Catalonia and Barça is one further reason for considering this recognition to be so deserved”. These are just a few excerpts from the gushing praise president Joan Laporta bestowed upon his new President of Honour.

An honour

2010-04-08_CRUYFF_008.JPGThe Secretary of the Board, Josep Cubells, then read a proclamation of the award as a visibly emotional Johan Cruyff stepped onto the stage to receive a badge accrediting his new position. After saying how honoured he felt, he then looked back over his 37 years associated to FC Barcelona.

He also spoke about his personal way of understanding football. He underlined the importance of football being played for enjoyment. “If you can get a player to run with a smile, you’ve done fantastic job” he said.

Importance of sport

“Doing sport is improving your quality of life” said Cruyff, before explaining what the Foundation that bears his name is all about, which is totally associated to the promotion of sport.

The Foundation and Unicef

2010-04-08_CRUYFF_010.JPGHe also had some words of respect for Frank Rijkaard, who he said was “the image of the club” from 2003, when they felt it was time for “a total change of face”, and also exalted the agreement between Barça and Unicef: “If you wear the ‘Unicef’ name it means you haven’t forgotten the people. You are playing for them. This decision marked out a very important direction for the club.” He also praised the club’s foundation, which “is doing a very important job. There is much more to be won in life. If you are ready to help, the rest will help you.”
Recognition of the man who created a style
Images to remember
Both Joan Laporta and Johan Cruyff had special words for Armand Carabén, who did so much to sign the Dutchman as a player. Then it was time for the photos. The first was with the current club president and his President of Honour, along with two other key figures of our time, technical secretary Txiki Begiristain and coach Josep Guardiola. In the second, he posed with two very special guests indeed: Manchester United board member Bobby Charlton and the president of honour of Benfica, Eusebio Ferreira

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