Published on 18 May 2021

At Cruyff Court Betondorp, the field in the neighborhood where Johan always played football as a child, around the corner from his parental home, Ryan Gravenberch received the coveted prize for Johan Cruyff Talent of the year in the Dutch Eredivisie 2020-2021.

Since 2003, the Johan Cruyff Prize has been awarded to the Talent of the Year. With this prize, Cruyff wanted to give young football players a push towards an even better future and help them to do something in the social field. The winner will be given the opportunity from the Johan Cruyff Foundation to construct a Cruyff Court at a location of their choice. This allows (vulnerable) youth to exercise easily and to develop physically, socially and mentally.

The promising 19-year-old Ajax midfielder was elected almost unanimously by the jury of 14 prominent professionals. In addition to their football qualities, players from the premier league were also judged on the 14 rules of Johan Cruyff, such as being a team player and having a sense of responsibility. The jury noted that Ryan played a key role at Ajax at his young age. He was also praised for his crazy and lightning-fast development.

Ryan received the award from none other than John Heitinga. Ryan: “I played on a Cruyff Court all my childhood. It has helped me in my development and it is really special that I can now place one myself. And for the young boys: this prize is an incentive, do your best and one day you will also be standing here with this in your hands”.

In the coming period, Ryan and the Cruyff Foundation will determine the exact location of the Cruyff Court Ryan Gravenberch in close consultation. This Cruyff Court is partly funded by the National Postcode Lottery.

After Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder, Salomon Kalou, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Ibrahim Afellay, Miralem Sulejmani, Eljero Elia, Gregory van der Wiel, Christian Eriksen, Adam Maher, Marco van Ginkel, Davy Klaasen, Memphis Depay, Vincent Janssen, Kasper Dolberg, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, Ryan Gravenberch is the 18th winner of the Johan Cruyff Prize.

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