Ever since I was a little boy, there was this admiration of Johan Cruijff all around me. Who else was, as a Dutch guy, we’re all kind of injected with the Cruijff-virus at a young age. For some the best football player ever, for others the person who gave FC Barcelona the status they have today and for another person, it’s simply a man who doesn’t make any logical sentences when he was analyzing a game of football. But what we can’t disagree on, is that he was mainly responsible for putting the Netherlands on the world map of football.

And honestly, this part hurts, since I have to state out that I am a fan of the PSV Eindhoven football club, the main rivals of AFC Ajax Amsterdam, the young lad who conquered the globe last year with once again a bunch of guys from their own football academy.

Luckily, there’s FM 2019, the game where I can simply take my Cruijff Philosophy and implement it partly at my own team, PSV Eindhoven. A strange combination, but in my opinion there has to change something at my team. So to optimize my football club, I will combine the philosophy of Johan Cruijff, with the creativity of Philips to make PSV Eindhoven the best and most successful club in the history of Dutch football.

This series of guides will take you through my complete vision of running my club:

  • The transfer market;
  • The tactics;
  • The youth academy;
  • Partner clubs;
  • And much, much more.

The Transfer Market

Nowadays the transfer market is insane. Hundreds of millions are paid for players to transfer from one club to the next. This part of the Johan Cruijff Foundation guides will give you insights on the transfer market. How do I set up the foundation of my scouts? Where do I look for young talent to join my squad and which area’s do I look at before I make a bid on a certain kind of player to make sure he will be a success at my club?

All these factors are preventing or making sure that your club can continue to grow in terms of success on and of the pitch. The development of the transfer market and understanding its mechanisms is an important part of running my club towards success.

The Tactics

Johan Cruijff and with that, almost all Dutch people are huge fans of attacking football. “Total Football” isn’t associated with the Netherlands for nothing Johan Cruijff and Rinus Michels showed together what a small country can do, while throwing away their fears and just play ball like they’re good at.

When talking about my Johan Cruijff Foundation to make PSV the most successful Dutch football club in history, this part of the philosophy has to be in it.

How did I translate the philosophy of Johan Cruijff in my tactics and how do I play attacking, creative, football ready to score goals and dominate the pitches of European football?

I’ve applied the style of football Johan Cruijff always tried to play with his clubs. I’ve reinvented his 4-3-3, his 3-4-3 and to top it all of even his 3-3-4 to get enormous scores against small teams.

The Youth Academy

The youth academy is in the opinion of Johan Cruijff the spine, blood and lifeline of a football club.

When we’re discussing the development of young Dutch football players, AFC Ajax Amsterdam will come to mind first in developing fantastic football players throughout the years. PSV Eindhoven has always been the more creative club on the transfer market in the past.

In my game, we use the mindset of Johan Cruijff to bring the Youth Academy to Eindhoven too. We’re going to focus on the development of our players to either use them for our first team or make a sh*tload of money over their backs and use them to fill our bank account.


How you are using your network equals the success of a football club in the current era. It’s important to make use of existing connections in order to sign a young talent or to get in touch with the parents or agents of one of those future football stars.

In this part of the Johan Cruijff Foundation guide, we will zoom in on the usage of partner clubs and how to leverage those connections.

And much, much more…

Along the way, I will probably even adjust more and more along with this guide. So please bear with me for the next upcoming period to make sure you’re getting the max out of this foundation guide. I will provide screenshots, video’s and will even try to do a couple of live-sessions to answer all of the questions.

This philosophy is the base I use behind the build-up of all of my managed clubs in the FM series. For years I have been building on my strategies behind the scenes and nowadays I feel comfortable enough to share my vision together with Guido in order to help other FM Managers grow their teams towards (international) success. I will always be thankful for him and the platform he offers me, combined with the bits of advice over the years.

Categories: Tactics


MR23 · July 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm

Interesting and curious about your next post!

Stuart · July 8, 2019 at 7:21 am

This sounds brilliant, cant wait to see more.

McAvennie · July 10, 2019 at 10:45 am

Nice intro, looking forward to the next instalment

keith · August 10, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Good article, looking forward to reading more of this.

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