The entire Ajax Women’s team was at the Amsterdam ArenA on Tuesday afternoon to sign the condolence registry for Johan Cruijff. “It was special in many ways”, said Anouk Hoogendijk.
It was especially the large pictures of Cruijff as a player, which adorned the edge of the field, which made an impression on the Ajax Women at the condolence registry. “You can see how graceful he was”, says Hoogendijk. “Nowadays there is more power, but Johan Cruijff really exudes elegance.”
“Unfortunately, I never saw him play, but obviously he meant so much to the game”, says Petra Hogewoning. “His impact wasn’t only in football, but in the community and society as well.” Hoogendijk agrees with her team mate. “It’s incredible how committed he was to his Foundation. He gave it 200 per cent.”
Hoogendijk would know. She is an ambassador for the Johan Cruijff Foundation, and in that function, she got to know the legendary Number 14 a little. “I played with him a couple of times. Then I immediately saw what he must have been like. Once, we had to shoot a soft ball into a shopping cart. I was on Patrick Kluivert and Johan Cruijff’s team. We all missed that first shot. But then Cruijff figured out how to do it, because the second time, his shot went in effortlessly, and the third time, too. I think that he was the only one that afternoon to get the ball into the shopping cart. Johan Cruijff was special in many ways. People like him aren’t born very often. The fact that he belongs to Ajax, our club, is wonderful.”
Championship for men and women
The Ajax Women honoured the legendary number 14 las Friday with one minute of silence prior to the kick-off against PSV. “That was nice, too”, continued Hoogendijk. “It was so quiet, you could hear the birds chirping.” The Ajax Women are in first place of the Eredivisie and are hoping to win their first ever championship. “It would be nice if the men’s and women’s Ajax teams both won the championship”, said Hoogendijk. “It would be a beautiful tribute to Johan Cruijff.” Hogewoning adds: “We’re both in first place, so it’s possible this season.”