Johan cruyff’s leftwing legacy lives on as rich are barred from renting childhood home football the guardian electricity sound effect mp3 free download


Until he was 12, Johan Cruyff lived on the corner of Tuinbouwstraat and Akkerstraat in the working-class Betondorp district of Amsterdam. As well as being a wonderfully creative footballer, who during the mid-1970s became the best in the world, Cruyff was also famously leftwing. He said he could never have played for Real Madrid, because it was the club of General Franco, and became a strong supporter of Catalan independence during his years with Barcelona.

Cruyff died two years ago, at the age of 68, but in Betondorp the legacy of his progressive politics lives on. His childhood home at 32 Akkerstraat has recently become available to rent, but there is a strict condition: only those with a household income of less than £36,000 should apply. With its historical associations, the two-bedroom flat would be worth a great deal on the open market, but that is not the way Cruyff would have wanted to play it. Owned by a social housing association, number 32 could be yours for £530 a month.

It was on the pavement outside number 32, close to Ajax’s old De Meer stadium, where Cruyff first kicked a ball in earnest. He regularly returned to the area and his institute built a sports facilities nearby, known as the Cruyff courts. But attempts in the past to turn the apartment into a museum dedicated to him and his career, both as a footballer and manager, are believed to have been rejected by the man himself. The housing association says Cruyff’s childhood home features a “nice ground floor with a large garden” and spacious living room suitable for two to three people.

The new residents will have to be big Cruyff fans though. Two of the apartment’s four large windows looking on to the street are covered with a dedication to the footballer, including a typically forthright quotation: “When I was young, to play outside was really normal. We wouldn’t think about it. Today kids are playing more with their mobile phones or sitting behind their computers. Because of this, more kids are suffering from obesity and the solution should be very simple. We have to teach children how to move more at school. With just a few alterations we could create for Dutch schoolyards more opportunities for children to play outside together. This can only happen if we do it together.”

The flat’s windows are particularly large as the property once doubled up as the family greengrocery business until Cruyff’s father, Hermanus Cornelis Cruyff, died in 1958 of a heart attack, aged 45. Cruyff – a three-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, given to Europe’s best player – later said that his life up to 45 was beset by anxiety that he too would die young. His mother later moved a few blocks away and became a cleaner at Ajax, where her son was already becoming a star player in the youth teams.

Martin Schill, 71, who has lived opposite the flat for 15 years, said: “The students moved out last week. Before that it was a couple in their mid-60s who had lived there for 30 years. But they got a bit fed up with the constant interest, international interest too at times, so they moved.

Cruyff, who smoked heavily as a player – even lighting up at half-time – died in March 2016 from lung cancer. He only quit the habit in 1991 after undergoing heart surgery. On the footballer’s death, the Dutch king Willem-Alexander said the Netherlands had lost an icon.

Schill said: “There were a thousand people at least out here when he died and it was covered with flowers. I am proud of living here. I like the attention that he gets. Cruyff deserves it and I do think it should be a museum. Apparently that has been raised again, but Cruyff’s wife doesn’t like all the fuss and attention, so it is being rented out.”