“I bet my underwear to the signing of the Levant Cruyff does not occur”

“I bet my underwear to the signing of the Levant Cruyff does not occur”
Johan Cruyff's shirt Levante in a match played at the Nou Estadi (The country)

Last update March 13, 2020 by Javier Argudo

The Levante UD It has always been a humble club. Not in vain, to the twenty-first century, its presence in the First Division was limited to two seasons in years 60. But nevertheless, along its history, granota club has managed to make several media transfer they were a real hit at the time. Today we will discuss one: the signing of Cruyff the box Orriols.

Johan Cruyff You need no introduction. The former best player in the world in the early 70 I was in the twilight of his career and rumors of a return to Spain were growing. The RCD Spanish It was one of those who sounded more strongly as a possible destination Dutch, in a similar move to the club perico performed with Kubala O di Stéfano in his day, and the Sevilla and Real Betis.

But nevertheless, one of the teams that appeared on the scene was the Levante UD, at that time in Second Division. It was the season 1980-1981 granota box and looking forward faced a possible return to the top flight. Not in vain, pupils led by Pachín They are occupying the second position (They rose the first three).

I bet underpants to Cruyff not signed for Levante”

The news spread like wildfire to the point that in the press conference prior to a FC Barcelona-Hercules, FC Barcelona coach, Helenio Herrera, It was questioned by the possibility that the signing of Cruyff could be realized by Levante: “I bet my underwear with you to Cruyff not signed for Levante”. A daring bet, no doubt.

Paco Aznar, granota president at that time, He managed to convince Cor Coster (Cruyff father), after meeting him in Amsterdam. The bomb was about to explode. 'The skinny’ It would be the new mega star Levante as they were in his day Faas Wilkes, which we discussed in another article, the Chilean Caszely or self Pedja Mijatovic years later.

The signing of Cruyff
Cruyff's signing by Levante point topped the front pages of the sports press (Sports world)

The signing of Cruyff, How could it be otherwise, was the big sports news worldwide. The football world stood on the map to Levante UD whose leaders were rubbing their hands making dairy account: taquillazos, ticket sales, ascent to First Division… Unfortunately, The reality was quite different. The Dutchman completed a total of 10 Barca games and scored two goals zamarra (both in a match that ended with a tie 2-2 against him Real Oviedo).


Indeed, the actual Valencia (Nou Estadi back then) He recorded an almost full house at the debut of Johan against Palencia. A premiere that had to wait before processing since its listing granota whole had to catch up with the other players backward payroll template. The Levante He achieved a narrow win (1-0) Dutch star and left four 'detallitos’ and a little more. From there, They began a series of rumors and urban legends that still remain to be confirmed 100%.

Johan Cruyff Levante
Johan Cruyff on his debut with the shirt of Levante UD against Palencia (Sport)

Some say the signing of Cruyff Valencian cost the club a total of 18 millions, others charged half the box office 'black’ and that money was carried wrapped in newspaper. It even seems that this was required by the opposing team player as a requirement to play away games. Anyway, the truth is that the arrival of Johan Levante was a much economic failure (The following season the club would drop to third on unpaid) as sports (The season ended without promotion and a disappointing ninth place).


In any case, even after all that, granota can still proudly say that Johan Cruyff, one of the best players in history, He wore the stretchy Levante. a zamarra, by the way, that incomprehensibly (demonstrating once again the chaos that was the club at that time) He did not look the club crest. This detail may seem unimportant, It causes all photos Cruyff with Barca's Levante they can be confused with the Barcelona. After so many years, no one at the club has been able to explain why this big mistake.

In favor of Johan we must say that, apparently, He had nothing to do in this unforgivable oversight. Sports brand wearing the team at that time (Ressy) He had already made the shield tank a couple of seasons before their logo appeared although. The most curious thing is that it seems the firm itself had contributed financially to the signing of Dutch star will materialize, which makes more incomprehensible still the season 1980-1981 The team will play with shield tank completely smooth without logo, Unlike in previous years.

Although many say Cruyff It was finished when he signed the box Orriols, the truth is that after his last adventure in Spain even had time to prove her here to stay. The Dutchman returned to Ajax where he was able to win two consecutive leagues. But it does not end there. After receiving no offer to renew, very hurt, one left to Feyernoord where, Against all odds, He was also champion ahead, precisely, Amsterdam team. At the end of the season 1983-1984 He hung up his boots at the front door.

Javier Argudo

PC Football changed my life.

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