The Johan Cruijff Derby

That’s the name I’m giving to my tour that starts tonight, and will last eighteen days. I’ll be spending 2-3 days in Amsterdam, after which I fly to Barcelona where I’ll spend two weeks (as you know, the wife lives there).

There are primarily two reasons I’ve given the tour this name. The first is Cruijff himself. Cruijff made his name as a footballer in the decade he played for Ajax, where Rinus Michels developed the Total Football paradigm (which incidentally is named after a “total architecture” paradigm that was popular in Holland in those days). After that he followed Michels to FC Barcelona, where he had another successful spell. While he didn’t play for Barcelona as long as he did for Ajax, he has continued to live in Barcelona. Hence, a short tour of Amsterdam followed by a much longer tour of Barcelona can be named after Johan Cruijff!

The other reason for nomenclature makes more sense – I have a ticket for a football match, to be played on the 21st of October. The ticket has set me back by more than ten thousand rupees, but it’s going to be my first stadium football experience (coming after nine years of football-watching, on TV), and so I’m quite excited. The game is at the Camp Nou, where FC Barcelona will be taking on – you guessed it – Ajax (in the UEFA Champions League). And if there is anything that deserves to be named after Cruijff, it is the game between Barcelona and Ajax!

If you’re in either of those parts and want to meet, do leave a comment. If you have any recommendations of dos and don’ts, let me know that also! I’ll keep this blog updated through the tour!

PS: I’ve downloaded Dr. Sid Lowe’s Fear and loathing in La Liga to read on my way to Barcelona – in flights, airports and all that!

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