When you look at this picture of the Dutch team from the 1974 World Cup Final, what do you notice about the man stood at the far side of the line wearing the number 14?
That was their captain — and one of the greatest players in the history of the game — Johan Cruyff. At the time the Dutch national team kit was supplied by Adidas, the brand with the three stripes. Cruyff, however, was under contract with Puma and the brilliance and wizardry of his skill was matched by the tenacity and strong-will of his mind, which was demonstrated by his direct refusal to wear a Dutch kit supplied by Adidas.
So look at the picture again.
Whilst his team mates are clad from head to toe in the iconic three stripes of Adidas, you can see the Dutch Football Association bowed to Cruyff’s pressure and provided him with his own bespoke design; an Adidas kit with two stripes.
Perhaps the most iconic moment of Cruyff’s outstanding career also came during the 1974 World Cup in a match against Sweden; The Cruyff Turn, which was perfectly executed…in a two-striped Adidas kit.
The footballing world has lost one of its greats.