Liga MX

Johan Cruyff to help slumping Chivas

Johan Cruyff
Johan Cruyff, 64, was introduced as Chivas' new advisor at Omnilife Stadium.
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Johan Cruyff has been introduced as an adviser to slumping Guadalajara club Chivas, Mexico's most popular team but winless in 13 straight matches.

Chivas owner Jorge Vergara said on Saturday he hoped Cruyff, the Dutch great who coached Barcelona, could turn Chivas into a ''better club than Barcelona.''

Vergara said Cruyff received a three-year contract and would be visiting the club several times each year to oversee all facets of team development from the youth system to the first team. Contract details were not disclosed for the part-time position.

Cruyff, 64, was introduced at a press conference at the club's new stadium on the outskirts of Guadalajara, and then taken to the playing field to meet a crowd of about 500 fans.

''My hope and dream is that Chivas becomes a better club than Barcelona, and playing with only Mexicans,'' said Vergara, who has been widely criticized for the club's poor form. Many fans have blamed him for not spending money to sign top players.

Vergara owns the Omnilife company, which sells health supplements throughout the Americas and in Spain.

Vergara termed Cruyff ''the best coach in the world'' and said he would be looking into every corner of club management.

Cruyff urged patience and said he was not interested in coaching the Guadalajara club.


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''This will give the club a push, but because I am here does not mean we are going to win tomorrow,'' Cruyff said. ''As we have seen with Barcelona, it starts with values but it takes time to progress.''

The club announced on Thursday it was hiring Cruyff, which many fans see as largely a public relations gesture.

Chivas changed coaches last month, but new coach Ignacio Ambriz has yet to win a game.

In the Clausura - the second half of Mexico's split season - Chivas has only two points from seven matches. Ten league games remain and they are all likely to be difficult.

Chivas must play Santos, one of the league leaders, on Sunday. It also has a match remaining with defending champions UANL Tigres, another league leader. There is also a showdown with archrival America and a derby match against city rival Atlas.

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