Cruyff meets with Israeli presidentFeb 25, 2014
Johan Cruyff met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday at the President's residence in Jerusalem. Cruyff's son, Jordi, who currently serves as Maccabi Tel Aviv's general manager, also attended the meeting.
Peres and Cruyff two discussed prospects for peace as well as the establishment of programs to advance cooperation and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. "You were not only an outstanding football player but also a role-model who furthers peace in the world," Peres told Cruyff.
"Football is one of the great ways to make peace among people," Peres said. "In football there is no discrimination; we don't look at the color of the legs, we look at their speed. When a player like you arrives in our country the eyes of the children light up — Jewish, Arab or Muslim. There is a sense of belonging to a world where you compete to make everyone stronger and you respect the basic social laws."
Cruyff courts in Israel
Peres also thanked Cruyff for a Jaffa court built by the soccer player's foundation. Cruyff said the playground was built for the bene?t of children of all races and backgrounds, and said he hoped playing together would help kids overcome their differences.
"We created some playgrounds for the children to play together. We think that's why football or any sport is so important: the rules are the same for everybody, people can enjoy, play well and be outstanding," Cruyff said. "We hope we can continue to make people happy and get them together."