Four years on from 'Mr Barca's death
The style, the so-called 'Barca DNA', that obsession with touch football, with passing, with attacking instead of hopeful balls forwards, is due to the Dutch genius. The majority of Barca's success is due to the thinking of Johan Cruyff himself.
He had already left his mark as a footballer. After winning the European Cup with Ajax, he joined Barcelona in October 1973 after a multi-million and complez move. He had an immediate effect. After not winning a league title since 1960, Barca became league champions. He is one of the greats alongside Pele, Alfredo di Stefano and Diego Maradona.
Although Cruyff paved the way for the modern Barca as a footballer, it was as a coach when he showed even more skills. His 'Dream Team' won four league titles in a row and ended their hoodoo in Europe. The best Barca sides in history such as those under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola are closely linked to Cruyff.
Play and attack, do not send hopeful balls forward
His style of play is well defined in the phrase he told his players before the European Cup final against Sampdoria at Wembley. "Go out and enjoy." Football is a spectacle, Cruyff understood it that way and his words left an indelible mark on Barca.
He is the architect of modern football, one of the inventors of the high press, an absolute pioneer in changing players' postiions, in using wingers and the 'false 9'. One still remembers Michael Laudrup, an expert in playing the final pass, playing as the final striker. His 3-4-3 made history. Guardiola and occasionally Luis Enrique revived it.
Why does Barca not make any sense without Cruyff? Some stats: he arrived as Barcelona boss in 1988. In the last 30 years, Barcelona have won 16 of the last 30 league titles. Domestic dominance.