When you think about what an ICON truly represents, the definition could not be more fitting than Johan Cruyff. As ICONs continue to slowly descend into the realm of affordable options it was my goal to review the Dutchman as soon as I could. Originally, I had my eyes on the 89 base ICON option, but as 91 Cruyff crept closer in price to the baby-faced assassin 89 rated version I had to squeeze additional coins. In saying that it is worth noting that this card has dropped an additional 200k in price since my review and looks more and more like a deal at 1.5 million.
In the spirit of Total Football I had to play Johan Cruyff in the CAM position of a 4-2-3-1 and I applied the STAY FORWARD - FREE ROAM instructions to let merlin work his magic. I realize now that I am in the minority by applying the HAWK chemistry style instead of HUNTER; perhaps I will give that a go in the upcoming Weekend League. Regardless of chemistry style, Cruyff was the all-action midfielder that I was hoping for and he bossed the middle of park all weekend. I didn’t realize what I was missing prior to this review, and now I don’t know how I will live without him. Cruyff was Mr. Football in the following squad:
Pace & Dribbling
I think I will just get this out of the way in this section and let you know that this card outperforms statistics in basically every category. I think it is common knowledge by now that the ICON effect is a reoccurring theme with many ICONs and they are simply better than their “normal” counterparts with similar statistics. A perfect example of this is on display with 91 Cruyff in the Pace and Dribbling categories. 98 ACCELERATION & 94 SPRINT SPEED are more than enough, but in the middle of the park Cruyff just blows opponents away for pace. It feels like he is always moving just fast enough to maintain a gap and allows you time to pick a pass or set yourself up for an effort towards goal. Then… 5 STAR SKILLS. I feel like I could leave that there, but it is worth noting that this card is silk on the ball. Cruyff parts defenses and delivers his teammates through on goal, drowning his opponents in a sea of misery behind him.
Pace Rating: 9.8/10
Dribbling Rating: 10/10
Shooting & Passing
Everything Cruyff does has that little touch of class. The shooting is no different in this case and the small boost from the HAWK chemistry style just adds a little bit extra. 5 STAR WEAK FOOT, 99 POSITIONING, 96 FINISHING … the list goes on and this card is equipped with serious firepower. With all that being said I will note that Cruyff tried everything he could to set Guinness World Records for posts hit in a match and weekend. It was uncanny how many shots that I would normally expect to go in came back off the woodwork this weekend. In trying to avoid exaggeration I will say at least 10, which is not normal for me. Hopefully this weekend goes a bit better in this department. While the shooting was a bit off the mark, the passing on this card is inch perfect 99% of the time. Sometimes Cruyff even takes the wheel and dinks the ball over defender’s toes to make sure that everything runs smoothly with your attack. I was in my glory all weekend with the build-up play this card initiated; CR7 and Williams the prime beneficiaries of this man’s brilliance.
Shooting Rating: 9.5/10
Passing Rating: 9.5/10
Defending & Physical
The defending statistics on this card are subpar and immediately Cruyff is typecast as a ST, CF, or CAM. However, with the tracking, interceptions, and tackles that I witnessed this weekend I feel like Cruyff could easily function as a CM, which really does open doors for him in other formations. In a small sample set of 25 games I would say that Cruyff was directly responsible for 5 – 6 goals from his dogged tracking and tackling in the attacking third. Ultimately, this leads into my reason for choosing the HAWK chemistry style and the nice additions to the Physical statistics on this card. Having just finished a review of Inaki Williams it is worth noting that Cruyff is nowhere near as strong or as effective in the air as some cards. But, it was interesting to see how well you can hold up the ball … and at 5’11 (180cm) he is not miniature and does win his fair share of headers. Just a couple more feathers in the cap of this beast of the Weekend League. One final note; while the majority of this review has been an acceptance speech for Cruyff into the All-Time Top 10 Best Players I Have Ever Used in FIFA Awards... the one negative has to be the 81 STAMINA on this card. In the CAM position you need to get the game done in 90 minutes to have a fully effective Cruyff at your disposal.
Defending Rating: 8/10
Physical Rating: 8.6/10
Final Rating: 9.8/10
Everything from the image on this card, the 5/5 STAR combination, to the fist pumping celebrations is intoxicating. I genuinely enjoyed my Weekend League experience and it was only partially because I packed CR7 (still can’t believe it). Cruyff would complete a turn, or a pass, or an outside the foot finesse at least once a game that would have me smiling. I realize that it is easy to look at the negatives with FIFA 19 and we can’t forget them or keep pushing for change; and I won’t lie that Cruyff’s infatuation with hitting the post was starting to drive me insane nearing the end of 25 matches. But, at some point you have to find some enjoyment in the game or it is not worth playing anymore. Cruyff was a huge source of this for me; he is the best player I have used in FIFA 19; and I hope to hang on to him in the squad for as long as possible. Cheers for reading.