Las Rojas have been widely criticized for their ‘tiki-taka’ tactics, characterized by short passing, quick movement and maintaining possession for long periods of time.
The style however, has brought Spain global success, with the side aiming to become the first team ever to win three consecutive international tournaments, and Cruyff has indicated that club side Barcelona should take a lot of the credit for the national team’s accomplishments.
"Before it wasn't really known how Spain would play, but with the emergence of Xavi and other players like him, they have acquired their own style," he told Marca. “This stems from the concept and philosophy of Barcelona, with the idea of having the ball constantly."
The former Barca player and coach also claimed Italian football has become more creative, arguing the Barca tactics have revolutionized the way the Azzurri play.
"Spain and Italy play more creative football now. This philosophy was implanted some years ago in Spain, but in Italy it's a novelty,” the former European footballer of the year added. “They always used to play catenaccio, that's how their coaches wanted to play.
"They played for so many years with that system, and their coaches didn't give the necessary protagonist to a different kind of player. Now, the concept of creative play from Italy has changed, in this case through [Andrea] Pirlo."
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