Weeskind 16”16

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Hij heeft ze meer dan verdiend, Johan Cruijff, al die uitingen van eerbetoon en verdriet. Want hij heeft miljoenen voetbalkenners veel voetbalplezier bezorgd. Hij schijnt daarbij een heel gewone jongen, met bijzondere uitspraken, dat wel, te zijn gebleven. Op zich is dat een unicum: Zoveel mensen die om zo’n idool heen hangen en allemaal ‘iets’ van hem willen om in zijn schaduw een vleugje roem (of business) mee te kunnen pikken. Blijf dan maar eens ‘normaal’. Scheid dan maar eens het kaf van het koren. Maar dat kon Cruijff kennelijk. Niet altijd, maar wel vaak.

Verdriet is er doorgaans voor iedereen die jonger dan pakweg 70 jaar overlijdt. Als dat een bijzonder iemand is, is de rouw daarover des te intenser. Maar wat mij betreft is het wat Cruijff betreft nu toch welletjes geweest. Bij een man als Frits Barend, die zich zelf in allerlei tv-herdenkingsprogramma’s een echte – misschien wel de enige echte – vriend van Johan noemde, zal het verdriet nog wel even doorduren maar ook hij zal er op den duur vast overheen komen. Dat verdriet toonde deze emotioneel geëngageerde haantje-de-voorste-journalist-in-bijna-ruste immers ook bij het overlijden van André Hazes – volgens eigen zeggen ook een intieme vriend van hem. Bij diens Grote Show-Uitvaart in de Amsterdam Arena zat onze Frits op een prominente plaats om voor het klootjesvolk goed zichtbaar zijn verdriet te tonen. There’s no business like showbusiness. Daarom heb ik des te meer respect voor de familie Cruijff die hun pater familias in zéér kleine kring liet cremeren.

Wij, de miljoenen Nederlandse voetbalminnaars, zullen ons nog járen koesteren in het geluk dat we zo’n grootmeester in ons midden hebben gehad. En wij noordelingen stonden ook nog eens aan de wieg van diens ongekende successen. Johan Cruijff debuteerde immers in het al weer jaren afgebroken Oosterparkstadion in Groningen dat meen ik een topcapaciteit van hooguit 17.000 toeschouwers had. Toch was kennelijk ten tijde van Cruijffs debuut de capaciteit vele malen groter. Want er waren toen zeker zo’n tachtig- tot honderdduizend toeschouwers aanwezig. Tenminste, als ik de reacties die na zijn dood verschenen, mag geloven. Iedereen die daarnaar door de media werd gevraagd, had Cruijffs debuut in hoogsteigen persoon meegemaakt. En meteen deskundig geconstateerd dat het toen scharminkelachtige ventje een topper zou worden. Dat kun je, ik zeg dit in alle oprechtheid, al die mensen niet kwalijk nemen. Je bent voetbalkenner of niet. En vooral: Succes heeft, zoals bekend, vele vaders. Alleen de mislukking is een weeskind.

Henk Hendriks

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