||15 Sep 1951
1974 and 1978
1974 and 1978
Heemstede, Johann Neeskens, began his career with local club RCH, but was soon
transferred to Ajax where he blossomed into one of the best players in Europe. Nicknamed
‘Johann the second’ as his namesake Cruyff was the first, he was one of the most profiled
members of the Total-Football team both at Ajax and for the national team. Neeskens made
his debut for Holland in 1970 and occupied one of the midfield positions for the next decade
and more. In 1974, he was instrumental as Holland outplayed every team that stood in their
way until the final when West Germany won 2-1. Neeskens had a great World Cup scoring
five goals including a brilliant chip against Brazil and that second-minute penalty in the final.
He left Ajax for Barcelona after the World Cup and had
five good seasons in the Catalan capital winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup as the
highlight. In 1978, Holland again reached the World Cup final. Neeskens was once again a
key player although not as frequently on the scoresheet. He failed to score in his six games
in Argentina, but his contribution in midfield set up many goals for Holland. The Dutch lost
for a second successive time to the hosts in a World Cup final. This time to Argentina.
As many other stars in the seventies, Neeskens moved to
America to play in the NASL towards the end of his career. His club was New York
Cosmos and he stayed there for six seasons before he returned home. He retired in 1986
having experienced many of the finest hours in Dutch football, including three European Cup
titles and a World Club Cup title with Ajax and two World Cup finals with Holland. Neeskens
has had several coaching jobs in recent years also as assistant coach for the Dutch national
| 1974 | 1978
Info on how
the World Cup was founded and about the trophy as well.
on every match in every tournament.
Interesting columns about the past, present and future of the World Cup.
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since it was introduced in 1966.
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