As a youngster, there were three footballers I who I watched if they were on television -- Franz Beckenbauer, Pele, and Johan Cruyff.
Beckenbauer was fundamentally sound and played simple but effective football. Pele had great skill and he played with a lot of flair. Johan... was doing things we didn't see anyone do. That Cruyff Turn? That was just one of them. His uncanny dribbling skills. Wow. He played with great intelligence, a keen understanding of the game. If others used speed and strength to get by defenders, Cruyff used guile, smarts, and lots of crafty dribbling. He was amazing to watch.
Even as I began to root for Liverpool, I also liked watched Ajax Amsterdam. I never got a LFC shirt as a youngster but the first ever football shirt that I bought? Ajax. And I still have that to this day even if it doesn't fit me at all.
I tried my best to copy him on the pitch but well... let's leave it at that.
But Johan Cruyff... total football indeed.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Cruyff. Thanks for the great memories.