Barcelona icon Xavi Hernandez claims Johan Cruyff “is the most important figure in the history of the Spanish national team”.
Cruyff was the inspiration behind Barca’s famed ‘tiki-taka’ style that saw the club reign supreme under Pep Guardiola between 2008 and 2012, and – a year on from the Dutchman’ passing – Xavi believes that vision also allowed Spain to win three straight international trophies.
“Cruyff is the most important figure in the history of the Spanish national team,” the midfielder told Ajax TV.
“It’s all thanks to Cruyff’s philosophy that Johan is the most important person in the history of Barcelona and also the Spanish national team.
“Players like myself, Iniesta and even Messi, who are small, maybe we wouldn’t have won so much with Barcelona, had we played in a different style.
“It’s thanks to Cruyff that we’ve been able to play at [Barca] this way.”