Johan Cruyff took on the Dutch FA and Adidas at the 1974 World Cup in Germany. RIP to one of the greatest.


Johan Cruyff turning Argentinian defenders inside out is among the enduring images of the 1974 World Cup in Germany. The final in Munich’s Olympiastadion between Holland and the hosts ranks among the great games in the tournament’s history. And the sight of Cruyff wearing an Adidas kit with only two stripes down the sleeves illustrates one of the great World Cup stories.

Cruyff had an exclusive deal with Puma, the bitter rivals of Holland’s kit supplier Adidas. A family feud saw the Dassler brothers in the Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach,
Germany, split their sport shoe company to form the two sports equipment behemoths. During the World Cup, Johan Cruyff and the Royal Dutch Football Association went to war over the renowned brand with the three stripes.

Leading up to the 1974 finals, a number of footballers were battling with their federations over financial disputes and the three-time Ballon d’Or winner was never one to shy away from controversy either. He was famously said to smoke 20 a day during his playing days and was the first Dutch international to receive a red card for allegedly slapping the referee in only his second appearance. Having won his battle with the KNVB over the stripes, the head-strong Cruyff was allowed to wear a customised version of the famous Oranje shirt.


Illustration: Dan Leydon is an illustrator whose clients include Nike, ESPN, and KICK TV. His work has featured in The Guardian, The Telegraph, FHM, and on Match of the Day, Follow on Twitter: @danleydon Visit

This article was published in Issue 1 of the Póg Mo Goal Magazine