In 1997, the dream of Johan Cruyff – one of the greatest football players of all time – became a reality. With the founding of the Johan Cruyff Foundation he was able to connect children with sport. The dream started in the USA, where a little boy with Down's syndrome lived next door to Johan. He wasn't accepted in the group of children in his neighbourhood who played outside, and he could never join in their games.
Johan connected with the boy through sport and play, giving the child a sense of confidence and helping him to develop. Then, one day, the boy simply joined in with the neighbourhood children and thrived. For Johan, this proved the positive power of sport. By playing sport, children with or without a disability are able to discover their talents and build their self-confidence. In this way, you help them move up in society.
Since Johan's passing in 2016 we've had to continue the journey without him. We continue his mission to connect sports and children. His values and vision are embodied in our day-to-day work, and project. We continue the Cruyff Legacy.
On 30 October 1970 Johan Cruyff finally played a complete game again, after being injured for a while. By coincidence, he didn’t wear his number 9, but a spare shirt: number 14. Ajax won that game against PSV. Ever since Johan wore number 14. At Ajax the number 14 will always be associated with Johan Cruyff and no one else will ever play with number 14.
Number 14 has become almost as legendary as Johan Cruyff himself. Because of the inevitable connection with him, it is used frequently at the Cruyff Foundation. That’s why most of our projects show and follow the 14 rules of Johan Cruyff, as do we, and one of our projects is even called Schoolyard14.