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Hendrik Johannes "Johan" Cruijff was born on 25 April 1947 in Amsterdam, on a street five minutes away from Ajax's stadium, his first football club.Johan was the second son of Hermanus Cornelis Cruijff and Petronella Bernarda Draaijer, from a humble, working-class background in east Amsterdam.
His vision of perfect movement and harmony on the field was rooted in the same sublime ordering of space that one sees in the pictures of Vermeer or church painter Pieter Jansz Saenredam.
Cruyff, encouraged by his influential football-loving father and his close proximity in Akkerstraat to the De Meer Stadium, played football with his schoolmates and older brother, Henny, whenever he could, and idolised the prolific Dutch dribbler, Faas Wilkes. His father's death had a major impact on his mentality.
As Cruyff recalled, in celebration of his 50th birthday, "My father died when I was just 12 and he was 45.
Ajax won the Intercontinental Cup, beating Argentina's Independiente 1–1 in the first game followed by 3–0, and then in January 1973, they won the European Super Cup by beating Rangers 3–1 away and 3–2 in Amsterdam.
Cruyff's only own goal came on 20 August 1972 against FC Amsterdam.
Four days later, in a cup game against Veendam in a 7–0 win, he scored four goals.