Cruyff denies Barca criticism
By Lucas Brown
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Johan Cruyff has refuted claims he heavily criticised Barca after losing to Chelsea.Johan Cruyff has denied that he criticised Frank Rijkaard's tactics and Carles Puyol's defending after Barcelona were knocked out the UEFA Champions League by Chelsea.
The Dutchman was furious after a newspaper reported that he made derogatory comments on Dutch television towards Puyol and Gerard, as well as claiming that Maxi Lopez should have been brought on earlier at Stamford Bridge.
"I did not criticise Puyol, I did not criticise Rijkaard and I did not criticise Gerard," he explained.
"I did not even talk about Rijkaard or about Maxi and with Puyol, I answered a direct question regarding one goal.
"The defeat hurt me because the team were beaten by a concept of football that I detest and also because avoidable errors were made and, most importantly, I felt Barca could win the Champions League.
"Nobody is interested in the positive things I say, though.
"In the last year, they have tried to say that I have criticised (Barcelona vice president Sandro) Rossell, Ronaldinho, Victor Valdes and now you can add Puyol and Rijkaard to the list.
"I never criticise the team after a defeat. It is just absurd, especially as Barcelona can win the league title and I would never say anything that could distract anyone from that.
"There are certain people that want to disrupt things and they will try and say anything to hurt the team."