Jordi Cruyff

Johan Jordi Cruijff (anglicised to Cruyff; born 9 February 1974) is a Dutch-Spanish football coach and former player. Cruyff is the son of former player and manager Johan Cruyff.

Jordi Cruyff
Cruyff, Jordi.jpg
Cruyff in August 2009
Personal information
Full name Johan Jordi Cruijff
Date of birth (1974-02-09) 9 February 1974 (age 47)[1]
Place of birth Amsterdam,[2] Netherlands
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)[1]
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Barcelona (technical director)
Youth career
1981–1988 Ajax
1988–1992 Barcelona
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Barcelona B 47 (14)
1994–1996 Barcelona 41 (11)
1996–2000 Manchester United 34 (8)
1999Celta Vigo (loan) 11 (2)
2000–2003 Alavés 94 (7)
2003–2004 Espanyol 30 (3)
2006–2008 Metalurh Donetsk 28 (0)
2009–2010 Valletta 17 (10)
Total 299 (55)
National team
1996 Netherlands 9 (1)
1995–2004 Catalonia 9 (2)
Teams managed
2009–2010 Valletta (player-assistant manager)
2010–2012 AEK Larnaca (sports director)
2012–2017 Maccabi Tel Aviv (sports director)
2017–2018 Maccabi Tel Aviv
2018–2019 Chongqing Dangdai Lifan
2020 Ecuador
2020–2021 Shenzhen
2021– Barcelona (technical director)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

As a footballer, he played from 1992 through to 2010, including periods with Barcelona and Manchester United. He earned nine caps for the Netherlands national football team, playing at UEFA Euro 1996, and he won the Premier League title in 1997 while at Manchester United.[3]

Jordi played mainly as an attacking midfielder, although he could also perform as a second striker. In his later years, notably with Metalurh Donetsk, he also played as a centre back. After starting his career with Barcelona and playing for the Netherlands aged 22, Cruyff's career stalled while at Manchester United, as he appeared just 36 times in the league over four years largely because of injuries. His most successful period was arguably with Deportivo Alavés, which he led to the 2001 UEFA Cup Final. He also played for Celta Vigo, RCD Espanyol and finished his playing career with Valletta in the Maltese Premier League.

Under his stewardship as Maccabi Tel Aviv's sporting director, the club regained its dominance in Israeli football. The team won consecutive league titles from 2012 to 2015, as well as regularly qualifying for the Europa League and Champions League. [4]

Club careerEdit


Jordi with father Johan Cruyff and mother Danny Coster in 1977

In 1992, Cruyff made his debut for FC Barcelona B in the Segunda División, becoming the team's top scorer alongside Óscar. Two years later, Cruyff was promoted to the senior team during a pre-season tour in the Netherlands, where he scored hat-tricks against Groningen and De Graafschap. On 4 September 1994, he made his top flight debut in a 2–1 defeat at Sporting Gijón. On 2 November, he played against Manchester United in the Champions League, setting up the first goal for Hristo Stoichkov, as Barcelona won 4–0.

That season, Barcelona finished 4th in La Liga and Jordi was one of the team's top scorers alongside Stoichkov and Koeman, despite not being a regular starter. Cruyff scored the goal that guaranteed Barcelona played in Europe the following season.

Despite a positive start to the following campaign, Barcelona finished 3rd and were runners up in the Copa del Rey. On 19 May 1996, he played his last game for the club against Celta Vigo, at the Camp Nou.

Manchester UnitedEdit

In August 1996, Cruyff signed with Manchester United for a fee of £1.4 million on a four-year contract. He made his debut on 11 August in a 4–0 win over Newcastle United in the 1996 FA Charity Shield, and then played in a 3–0 win over Wimbledon, the opening league fixture of the 1996–97 FA Premier League. Cruyff then scored on his next two appearances, helping the team to 2–2 draws against Everton and Blackburn Rovers.

He was a regular in the first team until the end of November 1996, when he suffered another knee injury. Jordi's spell at Manchester United was marked by injuries, but he played three games in the group stage of the Champions League the same season that the Red Devils claimed the title in 1999.

He played eleven times and scored twice in 1998–99 season before a loan deal with Celta Vigo took him back to Spain in January 1999. He scored twice in eight games for the Spaniards before returning for United.

Cruyff's contract expired on 30 June 2000. In four years he had played a total of 57 games for United and scored eight goals.[5][6]

Return to La LigaEdit

After an initial agreement with Harry Redknapp's West Ham United fell through, Jordi returned to Spain on a free transfer to Alavés. With the Basque club, he reached the 2001 UEFA Cup Final, against Liverpool: despite being 2–0 and then 3–1 down, Alavés embarked on a spirited comeback and Cruyff's goal in the 89th minute tied the game at 4–4. An own goal in extra time saw Liverpool lift the cup. Cruyff continued to play for Alavés until the club was relegated at the end of 2002–03.[7]

The following season, he joined Espanyol,[8] being played regularly in his only season. Jordi decided against extending his contract with Espanyol and voluntarily left that summer.

Later careerEdit

He then trained with Bolton Wanderers, coached by Sam Allardyce, but failed a medical test. After he temporarily retired in 2004, Cruyff made a return to professional football in 2006, playing two seasons at the Ukrainian side Metalurh Donetsk,[9] where he played mainly as a centre back. At the same time, he entered the fashion business, helping develop the Cruyff clothing brand.

In mid-2009, Cruyff signed a three-year deal as a player-cum-assistant-manager of Maltese side Valletta, assisting first team coach Ton Caanen,[10] a role he admitted he did not take to.[11] He made his debut on 26 July 2009, in a 3–0 win in the Europa League 2009–10 first qualifying round against Icelandic side Keflavík. His first league appearance came on 21 August 2008, in a 3–1 win over Birkirkara. He scored his first goal on 29 August 2009 in a 6–0 win against Floriana. Valletta won the MFA Trophy in Cruyff's first season beating Qormi 2–1, although Cruyff did not play in the final as he was not fully fit.

Despite mostly playing as a defensive player throughout his career, Cruyff took on a more attacking role with Valletta.[12]

International careerEdit

Cruyff (number 17) playing for Netherlands against Scotland at Villa Park during Euro 96

Jordi was approached by both countries, Spain and the Netherlands, when he was eligible to play for their under-21 teams. He was unsure which country to represent, and in 1996 he declined the possibility to join the Spanish team for the Olympic Games, opting instead to play for the Netherlands at Euro '96. His performances for Barcelona persuaded coach Guus Hiddink to include him in the Netherlands squad for the tournament. He made his debut for the national side in a 2–0 friendly defeat against Germany on 24 April 1996. Cruyff scored his only goal for the Netherlands during a 2–0 win against Switzerland at Villa Park on 13 June,[13] and was one of five Dutch footballers to be selected for the Dutch national team while never having played in the Eredivisie.[14]

Sports Director careerEdit

AEK LarnacaEdit

In 2010, Cruyff announced his retirement from professional football and joined AEK Larnaca as director of football on a three-year deal.[15][16] He appointed Ton Caanen as head coach, and the pair worked to establish the team as a new football powerhouse in Cyprus. In his first season, the team finished 4th and the team qualified for the UEFA Europa League. In his second season, AEK Larnaca qualified for the groups stage of the Europa League after beating Rosenborg in the play-offs.

The participation of the team in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League was historic for both the club and for Cyprus football, as the club became the first Cypriot team to secure qualification to the Europa League (preceded by Anorthosis and APOEL in the group stages of the Champions League). The team finished 5th that season in the domestic league.

Maccabi Tel AvivEdit

In April 2012, Cruyff was appointed by Mitchell Goldhar, owner of Maccabi Tel Aviv, as the Sports Director of the football club[17] paying compensation to AEK Larnaca.[18][19] His initial work included signing Óscar, then head coach of FC Barcelona Juvenil A, as head coach of the club.

Jordi Cruyff's arrival finally put an end to Maccabi Tel Aviv's bad fortunes in the league as they won their first championship in ten years. Under Cruyff's and Garcia's stewardship, Maccabi dominated the league and claimed the title by thirteen points ahead of their nearest rival. The team finished the season as the league's highest scorers, with 78, whilst only conceding 30 - the fewest in the league.

The 2013–14 season saw a change in the club's coach position, when Cruyff appointed the Portuguese coach, Paulo Sousa to replace Garcia, after the Spanish coach was signed by English Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion. During this period, many players left the club whilst several others were recruited.

The team continued its success in the league competition by claiming another league title by a margin of 16 points. The club also enjoyed success in the Europa League as they advanced to the round of 32 following a difficult group stage, where they beat Bordeaux (twice) and Eintracht Frankfurt before eventually exiting the competition following a loss to FC Basel.

The 2014–15 season was characterized by a difficult start. Operation Protective Edge meant that the qualifying games to the UEFA Champions League were held away from Israel, leading Maccabi to be ousted from both the Champions League and the Europa League. There was also a change in club manager following Paulo Sousa's appointment at FC Basel. Oscar Garcia briefly returned but left before the beginning of the season when Cruyff appointed Pako Ayestarán, former assistant to Rafael Benítez at Liverpool. Maccabi Tel Aviv became the first Israeli team to win all three local trophies: the Israeli Premier League, the Israel State Cup and the Toto Cup.

In April 2015, Jordi renewed his contract for a further two years despite interest from English Championship and Bundesliga sides.

In the 2015–16 season, Cruyff appointed Slaviša Jokanović as head coach after the Serbian had promoted Watford to the Premier League. The team qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time in 11 years, playing against Chelsea, Porto and Dynamo Kyiv in Group G before exiting the competition. Jordi appointed Vitesse's Peter Bosz[20] after Jokanovic signed as the new Fulham's head coach at the end of December.[21]

Managerial careerEdit

In his first full season as head coach in season 2017–18, Cruyff led Maccabi Tel Aviv to Toto Cup glory, oversaw a second-place league finish and secured European qualification for a sixth successive year since he joined the club in 2012. At the start of that campaign, he successfully guided the team through four qualifying rounds to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage. At the end of the season, he announce his intention to leave the club to begin new experiences.[22]

On 8 August 2018, Cruyff was appointed as the manager of Chinese Super League side Chongqing Dangdai Lifan.[23] In 2019, he led the club to their best start in Super League history but decided to not renew his contract, and left the club at the end of the season.[24]

On 3 January 2020, Cruyff reached an agreement to become manager of the Ecuador national football team.[25] On 23 July 2020 Cruyff resigned from his position. This came after several major leadership changes in the Ecuadorian Football Federation. Ecuador did not play any matches or hold any training camps in his time as head coach, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 14 August 2020, Cruyff was appointed as the manager of Chinese Super League club Shenzhen FC.[26]

On 2 June 2021, Barcelona announcement his appointment on the role of strategy consultant.[27][28]

Career statisticsEdit


Club Season League National Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Barcelona 1993–94 La Liga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1994–95 28 9 3 0 5 0 36 9
1995–96 13 2 1 0 4 0 18 2
Total 41 11 4 0 9 0 54 11
Manchester United 1996–97 Premier League 16 3 0 0 1 0 4 0 1 0 22 3
1997–98 5 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 8 0
1998–99 5 2 0 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 11 2
1999–2000 8 3 0 0 1 0 4 0 4 0 17 3
Total 34 8 1 0 5 0 11 0 7 0 58 8
Celta Vigo (loan) 1998–99 La Liga 8 2 1 0 0 0 9 2
Deportivo Alavés 2000–01 La Liga 35 3 10 4 45 7
2001–02 33 4 0 0 33 4
2002–03 26 1 3 0 3 0 32 1
Total 94 8 3 0 13 4 110 12
Espanyol 2003–04 La Liga 30 3 30 3
Metalurh Donetsk 2006–07 Vyshcha Liha 13 0 13 0
2007–08 15 0 15 0
Total 28 0 28 0
Valletta 2009–10 Maltese Premier League 17 10 4 0 21 10
Career total 252 42 9 0 5 0 37 4 7 0 310 46


Appearances and goals by national team and year[30]
National team Year Apps Goals
Netherlands 1996 9 1
Total 9 1
Scores and results list the Netherlands' goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Cruyff goal.
List of international goals scored by Jordi Cruyff
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref.
1 13 June 1996 Villa Park, Birmingham, United Kingdom    Switzerland 1–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 1996 [30]

Managerial statisticsEdit

As of 30 May 2021

Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Maccabi Tel Aviv (Caretaker)   5 January 2017 10 February 2017 7 6 1 0 085.71
Maccabi Tel Aviv   1 July 2017 30 June 2018 50 29 9 12 058.00
Chongqing Liangjiang Athletic   8 August 2018 14 December 2019 46 14 14 18 030.43
Ecuador   13 January 2020 23 July 2020 0 0 0 0 !
Shenzhen   6 September 2020 Present 17 7 4 6 041.18
Total 120 56 28 36 046.67




Manchester United


Maccabi Tel Aviv


  • Barça: A People's Passion (1998), Jimmy Burns.[36]


  1. ^ a b c "Jordi Cruyff: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Jordi Cruyff". Barry Hugman's Footballers. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  3. ^ "13 players who won Premier League titles by sitting on the sidelines". 10 May 2016.
  4. ^ [ ]
  5. ^ "Jordi Cruyff - Manchester United FC -". Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  6. ^ Jonathan McCleery (9 February 1974). "Jordi Cruyff: Manchester United Profile". Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  7. ^ Vrije transfer voor Jordi bij Alaves - NRC (in Dutch)
  8. ^ Cruijff door keuring en tekent bij Espanyol - Voetbal International (in Dutch)
  9. ^ 'Jordi Cruijff langer bij Metalurg Donetsk' - Voetbal International (in Dutch)
  10. ^ Caanen en Cruijff gaan Maltezer topclub leiden - Voetbal International (in Dutch)
  11. ^ Jordi Cruyff: Because of my name I’m not a guy who can make mistakes
  12. ^ Malta a pleasant experience, says in-form Cruyff
  13. ^ Intl career stats - EU Football
  14. ^ Debuut Tim Krul bij AZ eindigt in nederlaag tegen PSV - Volkskrant (in Dutch)
  15. ^, Cruyff to hang up boots at end of season
  16. ^ "AEK Larnaca". Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  17. ^ Jordi Cruijff wordt technisch directeur bij Maccabi Tel Aviv - NU (in Dutch)
  18. ^ Timor, Lior (13 April 2012). "Jordi Cruyff signed an agreement with Maccabi Tel Aviv: It's a special club" (in Hebrew). ONE. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  19. ^ "Jordi Cruyff joins Maccabi Tel Aviv". Maccabi Tel Aviv FC. 13 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Vitesse coach Peter Bosz heads for Tel Aviv". Dutch News. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  21. ^ "Slavisa Jokanovic: Fulham appoint Serb as new head coach". BBC Sport. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  22. ^ [ ]
  23. ^ 重庆官方宣布新帅上任 克鲁伊夫之子执掌斯威教鞭 (in Chinese). Sina. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  24. ^ "斯威官宣小克鲁伊夫不再执教 双方就续约未达一致". Sina (in Chinese). 14 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  25. ^ Aldunate, Ramiro (3 January 2020). "Official: Jordi Cruyff becomes Ecuador's new head coach". Marca. Madrid. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  26. ^ "深足官方宣布小克鲁伊夫出任球队主帅". Sina Sports (in Chinese). 14 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  27. ^ "FC Barcelona - La Liga - Official: Jordi Cruyff joins Laporta's staff". 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  28. ^ "Ανακοίνωσε τον... Κρόιφ η Μπαρτσελόνα!". (in Greek). 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  29. ^ "Jordi Cruijff Profile" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  30. ^ a b "National football team player Jordi Cruyff". EU Football Info.
  31. ^ "Supercopa / Spanish Super Cup 1994".
  32. ^ "Manchester United v Newcastle United, 11 August 1996". AFS Enterprises. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  33. ^ "Charity remains at home". The Irish Times. Dublin. 4 August 1997. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  34. ^ Bewsher, Liam (24 April 2020). "Jordi Cruyff: Where Are They Now?". Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  35. ^ "גביע הטוטו ליגת העל מחזור 3". Israel Football (in Hebrew). 14 December 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  36. ^ Burns, Jimmy (2000). Barca: A People's Passion. ISBN 0747545545.

External linksEdit