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Football | Spain

Johan Cruyff © Getty Images

Cruyff hints at coaching retirement



Former Ajax and Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff has suggested his coaching career may be over after leading Catalonia to a 1-1 draw in a friendly between the Spanish region and Nigeria on Wednesday.

"I don't think I'll return to coaching any more, I don't see myself on another bench, although I always do too many things and I won't be bored," the 65-year-old Dutchman told reporters after the match in Barcelona.

Cruyff turned to coaching after a brilliant playing career in his native Netherlands for Ajax and in Spain for Barcelona and he is one of only four men along with Michel Platini, Marco van Basten and Lionel Messi to win three World Player of the Year awards.

He led Barca to their first European Cup triumph in 1992 and is considered one of the creators of the attacking style of play known as "total football" that sets the current Barca side apart from their rivals.

He has stepped down from his job in charge of Catalonia and said former Barca coach Pep Guardiola, who played under Cruyff in the 1990s, could be the right man to take over.

"Pep Guardiola would be the ideal coach but he is still very young for that," Cruyff said of the 41-year-old, who is taking time off after four successful years leading Barca.

"It seems now he will go and coach in England and if that's the case he won't have the time at this time of year to take charge of Catalonia," Cruyff added.

Spanish regions typically play a friendly match against an international side during the Christmas and New Year period but English Premier League teams have no such break in the calendar.

Guardiola has been linked with a move to European champions Chelsea, who have appointed his compatriot Rafael Benitez as interim manager, once he ends his one-year sabbatical.

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