September 27th, 2002

emu

Hard Gras 29 - In Barcelona (02-036)

Hard Gras 29 - In Barcelona (02-036)

Dutch football and Barcelona have been connected since Cruijff went to the Catalan capital in 1973. Actutually it was Michels 2 years earlier who set the trend, but as Michels only became who he is curtesy of Cruijff, to me it was El Salvador who started the link. Plenty of others followed, he himself went back as a coach. Basically since 30 years Barca has had some sort of bond with the Netherlands, through players and coaches. In this book several authors try to explain certain things about the strange marriage in the football sport. Anton Maria Espadalar explains why the Catalan are like the Dutch, Hugo Borst ranks the Dutch influence in a top 22, with Cruijff the player on 1, Cruijff the coach on 4 (Neeskens and Koeman inbetween them) while Jimmy Burns explains the relationship between a local familiy and the Cruijffs as the basis of all the Dutch-Catalan history since.

Funny story by Edwin Winkels, Dutch journalist of a Spanish sportspaper, about the restaurants Dutch players tend to visit in the city. Apparently there are only a handfull that actually get visited on a regular basis. Good to know for hardcore fans I guess. Herman Koch only touches the theme sideways with a story about his little son choosing a shirt. I still like reading the Hard Gras series.
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