“14” remains one of the symbolic numbers in the history of football, particularly for Ajax and Barcelona, thanks to Johan Cruyff. The Dutch legend was torn between choosing number 9 or 13 to wear on his jersey. The story behind why Cruyff ultimately opted for the number 14 has now become well-known.
On October 30, 1970, after a lengthy injury, Cruyff made his comeback for Ajax. However, his teammate Gerrie Mühren had already claimed the number 9, which Cruyff had previously worn, while Johan was recovering. Consequently, Cruyff had to select a different number and settled on the legendary 14. In that match, Ajax secured a 1-0 victory against PSV Eindhoven, further cementing Cruyff’s attachment to the number due to his superstitions.
The significance of this number to the Dutch footballer was so profound that he continued to attribute great importance to it throughout his coaching career at Barcelona. Whenever a player made their first-team debut, Cruyff would assign them the number 14 jersey as a special gesture.