Johan Cruyff illustrates his interpretation of the diamond formation


Johan Cruyff is widely seen as the benchmark of tactical innovation in modern football. Having enjoyed an illustrious playing career with the likes of Ajax and Barcelona (not to mention the national team), Cruyff went on to successfully manage both these giants, in their own right.

While possession based football has become popular across the globe in the beautiful game, Cruyff made it famous with his Barcelona side. An approach that saw the side win four La Liga titles and one European Cup (among others) across an eight year spell.

A major factor in Cruyff’s success was the use of the diamond formation, an approach still widely implemented. But Cruyff’s diamond was quite different, and there remains a misconception in the sport about this very approach. With tactical variation being championed by all football managers, Cruyff explains how he interpreted and implemented his successful approach.

The above video was originally shot 11 years back and has resurfaced on social media sites again. A fascinating short look at a successful formation, from the man himself.