April 16, 2021

Cruyff appears in our lives | sports

Cruyff appears in our lives | sports

The first time that Madrid crossed Ajax in the European Cup was in the 67-68 season. At that time, Dutch football meant nothing. In the 65-66, Madrid had played against Feyenoord. An almost forty-something Puskas, offensively fat, scored four goals in the Bernabéu. His last European goals. In the eyes of the fan, a Dutch team was then an expert in sweet. In the summer of the 66, the Selection, that prepared in Santiago de Compostela the World-wide one of England, played a friendly one with the Ajax. We lost 1-2 in Riazor and it was considered a national shame.

Now it was Madrid and the European Cup. It was Madrid ye-yé, champion two years before. It looked good. He had just started the league and had won 0-2 in Seville and then he made it 9-1 to Real Sociedad. Muñoz warned that Ajax had a formidable 20-year-old forward, but then 20 years were too little. Pirri and Zoco remembered something of what happened in Riazor, but that did not scare anyone.

The arrival in Amsterdam was full of courtesies. The president of Ajax, Van Praag, (father of whom he would also be later) declared himself a great admirer of Madrid, and announced that he was giving up the colors: "My fans deserve to see Madrid with the color of their glory". Ajax played red. Six thousand emigrants attended, coming from Germany, Belgium, France, Switzerland or Holland itself. The opposite of an intimidating environment.

In Ajax are not all yet, but already enough of those who will make a legend soon: Bals; Suurbier, Vasovic, Pronk, Hulshoff; Groot, Nuninga, Muller; Swart, Cruyff and Keizer. The coach is Rinus Michels, who also expects glory. Muñoz protects himself: takes out Zunzunegui as a means along with Zoco: Junquera; Calpe, De Felipe, Sanchís; Zunzunegui, Souk; Amancio, Pirri, Grosso, Velázquez and Bueno. Actually, five defenses, three media and Amancio and Bueno in the attack.

Madrid has a hard time. In the 16 'mark Cruyff, in a shot that slips to Junquera, who seems to be nervous. It has been released the limitation of four steps to the goalkeeper when he has the ball (now they are 6 seconds) and is bundled. Every little bit they whistle indirectly in the area. In the 35 ', Pirri marks, after a quick play, a rare approach. Good news! It is also recent that in the event of a tie in the tie the goals scored were worth more. It was crucial to score.

The best, the result, is commented on the return. The round is played at three weeks. Three thousand Dutch come, walking through the Plaza Mayor and the center, noisy, brewers, with team shirts, which was not seen here then.

Madrid are worried on the eve. Will miss Felipe. Velázquez will be missing. Amancio is among cottons. Ajax repeats team. The Madrid goes with Junquera; Calpe, Zunzunegui, Sanchis; Pirri, Souk; Veloso, Amancio, Grosso, De Diego and Gento. De Diego debuted that day, a little out of place because it is more second tip than inside organization and route, like Velázquez, but will play well, with several great pitches to Gento.

Madrid returns the courtesy and plays blue. Ajax plays from Ajax, with its wide stripe, never seen here, and its players, thin, hairy, mobile … attract something new. Cruyff is a barbilampiño that so pale almost seems transparent, but makes mischief.

Play better Ajax, it is very visible. Madrid beat with courage, but the ball and mastery are Ajax. Zoco and Zunzunegui pass a quinary before Cruyff. Junquera makes huge stops. It was the best night of a great goalkeeper who would limit injuries. Madrid is ahead, in 58 ', with a shot of Gento from the edge of the area. The Ajax tie in the 68 ', in the free kick that Groot header to the squad.

There is an extension, with Madrid visibly exhausted. Cruyff becomes more master of the scene yet. He goes to one side, to another, he dribbles, half Madrid is busy around him. Junquera stops, Junquera gets up, Junquera stops again, kicks his feet … A shot hits the post. If he enters, Madrid is out. In that, a Veloso snatch, with its last air. Bargains three and throws a very tight left foot that enters. Amancio's teammate in Depor, he signed for Madrid three years later, he never made a firm start as a starter, but that day he took Madrid's neck rope. He defended with more order, although he continued to depend on Junquera.

Madrid passed, but we all felt that a new era was coming. A football of thin, hairy, mobile types was announced, with that Cruyff as herald.

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