How Johan Cruyff stole the Cruyff turn from a Socceroo

It is widely celebrated how Dutch legend Johan Cruyff popularised the ‘Cruyff turn’ at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, but according to Australian striker Adrian Alston he was not even the first player to execute the manoeuvre at that tournament.

Cruyff famously sold Jan Olsson with the piece of skill during the first half of the Netherlands’ Group 3 encounter with Sweden.

However five days earlier, the Australian frontman produced an identical piece of trickery during the Socceroos’ tournament opener against East Germany.

Speaking on Football Stories: The Heroes of 1974 (Premiering on Wednesday from 7:30pm AEST), Alston told his former teammates how the evidence is clear to see.

To watch the live Premiere Football Stories: The Heroes of 1974 on Facebook, click here. To watch on Youtube, click here or watch it in the video player below from 7:30pm AEST.


“It’s on YouTube, five days before Cruyff did it,” he said. “So if you have a look at it, it’s a fact.

“Later on his roommate told me that he was watching it on TV and said, ‘I think I can do that!’”

Cruyff’s move became an everlasting symbol of the Dutch total football era and Alston conceded that the three-time Ballon d’Or winner’s legacy is what helped seal its spot in football folklore.

“Only because they got to the final did they notice him,” he joked. “But I play it every night before I go to bed don’t worry!”

For more entertaining stories from Alston alongside Rale Rasic, Ray Baartz, Jim Rooney, Doug Utjesenovic and Jim Fraser, be sure to check out Football Stories: The Heroes of 1974 which premieres on Wednesday 24th June.

Teaser - Football Stories: The Heroes of 1974

How to watch

Wednesday, 7:30pm AEST:

To watch on Facebook, click here.

To watch on Youtube, click here.

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