A review of Johan Cruyff: At a given moment

Johan CruyffEarly in the 70’s, there was a lot of resentment towards General Franco in Catalonia. The locals felt like they were still under foreign occupation. Among the few places where they were allowed to speak their minds was the Nou Camp. This was why Johan Cruyff’s arrival in Aug 1973 was almost treated like a second coming. He was lured to the team by Rinus Michels. Barcelona was in need of someone to save them, and that’s exactly what Cruyff did.

A number of coincidences helped him solidify his relationship with the public. His wife was due to give birth, and it was induced some days in advance so that he could participate in their most important match against Real Madrid away. Barcelona won 5-0 thanks to Cruyff. Also, they named their son Jordi which is also the name of the saint of Catalonia.

His early time in Barcelona, Cruyff played some great football, but it took him a while to appreciate the Catalan’s real nature. Soccer wasn’t only a sport there; it was an escape valve.

This documentary isn’t definitely unconventional. Despite the fact that the movie ends with an interview with Cruyff, the main focus is on the Catalans Taxi drivers, elderly waiters, flamenco guitarists, housewives, and a few of his opponents are all invited to share their favorite Cruyff moments. We get to see fleeting images of him in action, scoring improbable goals, gliding past defenders. We get to meet the waiters and chefs at his favorite restaurants. We get to see the ad he shot post his heart operation. Everyone has a favorite moment when it comes to Cruyff. For Gieling, it was from one of his matches for Ajax, when he took the ball using his heel. He described him like an angel, not running, but floating.

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