Cruyff to get his own musical

The Hague (AFP) – A musical about the life of legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff is set to start late next year, paying tribute to one of the game’s greatest-ever players.

“14 de musical”, referring to the famous number on the back of Cruyff’s jersey, is expected to open at the AFAS Theatre in Leusden, southeast of Amsterdam in September, Dutch producers announced on Tuesday.

Theatre editor Tom de Ket has “turned the life story of the legendary footballer with a paradoxical personality into a script about ambition, love, and friendship but also about jealousy, loneliness and betrayal,” the Out Of Office Productions company said.

Cruyff, 68, who died of lung cancer four years ago, is still widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest innovators and the inventor of Total Football, a tactical theory in the game where any outfield player can play in any other position on the pitch with ease.

His death in 2016 brought tributes from across the world including by legends including Diego Maradona, Pele and Michel Platini.    

“We’ll see Cruyff playing football, but he doesn’t sing himself. The performance will contain rock, opera and hip-hop and the design is a challenging combination of digital projections and physical set pieces,” the company said in a statement.

Cruyff’s partner Danny “one of the first women who became known in the media as a player’s wife and played a very important role in Cruyff’s life, gets a major role in the performance” the producers added.

The musical also had the backing of the company that manages the great player’s legacy.

“14 the musical is an inspiring new adventure for us,” said Carole Thate, general manager at the World of Johan Cruyff.

To the biggest question: who will play the role of Cruyff — the producers said the names of the actors “will be announced at a later stage.”

The play will open on September 25 next year and will run on a weekly basis from Wednesday to Saturday “assuming that no more measures are needed against the coronavirus,” the producers said.

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