For nearly 30 years, it has been one of football's most enduring mysteries. Why did Johan Cruyff decide he would skip the 1978 World Cup final in Argentina? The decision saw his team Holland lose and Cruyff himself blamed for the squad's failure to win the trophy. But in 2008 the former Ajax and Barcelona player has revealed that a kidnap attempt months before the tournament changed his outlook on life. Johan Cruyff said: 'You should know that I had problems at the end of my career as a player here and I don't know if you know that someone [put] a rifle at my head and tied me up and tied up my wife in front of the children at our flat in Barcelona. "To play a World Cup you have to be 200 percent. There are moments when there are other values in life.". Although Mr Cruyff did not say how the kidnap attempt failed, he admitted police then guarded his home and escorted his three children to school for four months. 'The children were going to school accompanied by the police,' he added. 'The police slept in our house for three or four months. I was going to matches with a bodyguard. 'All these things change your point of view towards many things. We wanted to stop this and be a little more sensible. It was the moment to leave football and I couldn't play in the World Cup after this.' At the time, speculation over Cruyff's decision was rife. His absence was blamed on his dislike of Argentina's military dictatorship; accusations he had fallen out with the Dutch Football Association over sponsorship and claims his wife had put him off playing. A book published by his former Barcelona teammate Carles Rexach claimed Cruyff was influenced by his wife and children in the decision.
Source : Daily Mail