President Shimon Peres welcomes Johan Cruyff to the President's Residence..
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
After opening a Cruyff Court in Jaffa four years ago, Johan Cruyff, who is an international football legend both as player and manager, will inaugurate a second such project in Israel in another mixed Jewish-Arab neighborhood.
His second Israel playing field, one of some 150 that he has established around the world, is scheduled to open in Acre in September, Cruyff told President Shimon Peres on Sunday during a visit to the President’s Residence.
The Cruyff Foundation, which works in close cooperation with the Peres Center for Peace, brings sports fields to inner suburbia, fosters wheelchair sports, girls’ football teams, co-existence and acceptance of the other.
Cruyff, whose son Jordi is also a talented international footballer and manager, came to Israel last Thursday to watch the Maccabi Tel Aviv game and to spend a week with his son, who is the current manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Jordi Cruyff, along with Jewish relatives and Netherlands ambassador Caspar Veldkamp, accompanied the senior Cruyff to his meeting with Peres.
Commenting on the educational aspect of the Cruyff Foundation’s mission, Peres told Cruyff: “You are not only a legendary footballer, but also a model for others to follow.”
Cruyff noted that in sport the rules are the same for everyone and all countries can compete knowing that there is only one winner.