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TBT: Johan Cruyff’s penalty pass

What with today being the birthday of Johan Cruyff, one of football’s true greats, your social media timelines will quite rightly be filled with his greatest moments.

That famous turn is perhaps the most iconic clip of Cruyff in his prime – rarely has one action with a football embodied everything there is to know about a footballer. But we wanted to highlight another memory of the late great’s innovative take on football, as we take it back to 1982.

During his second spell at Ajax, Cruyff had returned as living legend, still masterful at the age of 34. On a particularly comfortable afternoon’s work against Helmond Sport, Ajax had won a penalty to increase their advantage. Stepping up in the red and white, everyone in the ground was waiting for the net to bulge. But that wasn’t to be… at least not for a few extra seconds.

Jesper Olsen had perfectly timed a run alongside Cruyff, latching onto the ball that his teammate had just nonchalantly rolled into his path. From Cruyff to Olsen and back to Cruyff again, the goalkeeper was left stranded and confused. The commentator’s casual report on the goal made it sound like he was the only other man in on this sneaky plan.

This moment may be less iconic than the Cruyff Turn eight years previous, but it shows another side to the Dutch Master that should be remembered and treasured.