Zidane and Cruyff, from stars as players to legends on the benches

Johan Cruyff and Zinedine Zidane

After the miraculous draw of Real Madrid against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals, in a match in which the ‘blues’ were far superior but in which the whites, because of who they are, also disturbed their rival, the former soccer player from Englishmen, Joe cole, brought to the fore a debate that has generated a lot of excitement.

Whoever owned the right wing of Stamford Bridge on his best day, put Zidane’s career, whom he considers very despised, at the height of one of the greatest exponents of football: Johan Cruyff. “Maybe even higher, because he has won more,” Cole said.

Two figures of the beautiful game who have followed a similar trajectory. They both became world figures for their genius on the pitch, being considered among the best in history, and by making the leap to the benches they did nothing but enlarge his legend. And if it was not enough for this narrative, one made it in blue and scarlet and the other in white.

The trajectory of Zidane is fresher in the memory of the fans. At club level, the Frenchman has been a great trophy collector, but not such a good accumulator. At the club level, they stand out The league achieved with Real Madrid and the two A series with Juventus nationally, and internationally won the defunct Intertoto with the Girondins and the bianconeri and as a culmination, the Champions with his historic volley to get ‘the Ninth’.

He also had great successes with the French team, crowning himself as champion at the 1998 World Cup that housed its dominating France, which two years later would also take the Eurocup. In addition, the merit of having reached the World Cup final in 2006. On a personal basis, the Ballon d’Or in 1998 and his FIFA World Player in 1998, 2000 and 2003.

After his questioned arrival on the Real Madrid bench as a house solution, Zidane has only done one thing: win. In his first stage at the Bernabéu, three Champions in a row unprecedented, which accompanied a league on 16/17. After a few months out of office, he returned and gave a new league to a team that no one was betting on. This season the whites are no longer discarded for anything: aspiring to LaLiga and in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Accused of being “only” a group manager, Zidane has learned how get the best out of your disciples, making each year a team not only competitive, but also winner. Especially in this campaign, in which injuries have plagued the Madrid squad, but have not taken away their desire to win.

More than half a century has passed since Johan Cruyff began to write his name in football history books. With Ajax he began to win titles at a young age and added eight Eredivisies in his two stages with Amsterdam (and another with Feyenoord), in addition to three European Cups in a row. His stage at Barça as a player was somewhat decaffeinated, raising only a League and a Cup.

For his part, with the Dutch team he did nothing more than start the curse of the country with more World Cup finals lost without having won any. Although a Clockwork Orange was feared throughout Europe, both Germany in 1974 like Argentina in 1978 (although without Cruyff, who did not participate in the tournament as a protest), they left him at the gates of gold. That if, personally he holds three Ballon d’Or (1971, 1973 and 1974)

However, when he made the jump to the bench and returned to the Camp Nou, he did so to become the great legend of Barcelona. He achieved the four consecutive leagues that Barça won between 1991 and 1994, adding the long-awaited 1992 European Cup, the first in the club’s history with the ‘Dream Team’.

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