The legendary Cruyff assembled an all-star team in the image of his previous Ajax side, dubbed the "Dream Team." It included Stoichkov and Michael Laudrup, who were later joined by the legendary Romario, and Ronald Koeman, a Dutch sweeper. Barcelona finally won the European Cup Final in 1992, after a long wait. In 1994, they reached the Final for the second time, defeating Manchester United 4-0 but lost to a strong Milan side.
Coach: Johan Cruyff
Trophies: 1 Champions League (1991–92), 1 UEFA Super Cup (1992), 4 La Liga (1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94), 1 Copa del Rey (1989–90), 2 Spanish Super Cup (1991, 1992, 1994)
Star Players: Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov, Romario, Ronald Koeman, Txiki Begiristain, Pep Guardiola.
When Johan Cruyff took over as manager at the Nou Camp in 1988, he inherited a team that had only won a single league trophy in the previous 14 years. Until 1990, fierce rival Real Madrid dominated the domestic competition, winning five straight La Liga titles. Cruyff altered Barcelona's playing philosophy upon his arrival, installing possession-based football at the Camp Nou, in an attempt to dethrone Los Blancos. In Spain, the tide swiftly shifted, as Barcelona won four consecutive La Liga titles, as well as the club's first-ever European Cup in 1992. Cruyff's Dream Team came into being. The remarks set the tone for the Catalan club's golden era.
Cruyff adopted elements of Rinus Michels' total football philosophy into his Barcelona setup, emphasising one-touch play and offensive football. These ideas have remained ingrained in the club's DNA to this day. The young athletes began to graduate and play for their first team ten years after the start of the youth programme, La Masia. From 1991 to 1994, Barcelona won four consecutive La Liga titles under Cruyff's leadership. With a free-kick goal by Dutch international Ronald Koeman, they defeated Sampdoria in both the 1989 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final and the 1992 European Cup final at Wembley.
In addition, they won the Copa del Rey in 1990, the European Super Cup in 1992, and three Supercopa de Espana. Cruyff was the club's most successful manager at the time, with 11 trophies. He also became the club's longest-serving manager, with an eight-year tenure. In 1993-1994, Cruyff's Dream Team had their best season, dominating La Liga and scoring 91 goals in the process. The Blaugrana had four of the league's best goal scorers, including Romario, rather than depending on their tenacious defence. Barcelona carried their excellent form into the European Cup final, where it faced Milan.
Despite missing Marco van Basten and Franco Baresi, among other noteworthy absentees, the Italian giants surprised Barcelona by defeating Cruyff's side 4-0. While Cruyff's time at Barcelona did not end the way he had hoped, he did succeed in instilling a sense of identity in the club and overseeing one of their most successful periods. Cruyff's fortunes were to alter, as he failed to win any trophies in his final two seasons and fell out with president Josep Lluis Nunez, resulting in his departure. As Barcelona prepares to begin a new chapter with Koeman as manager, Cruyff's beliefs will definitely be at the heart of their reconstruction, ensuring that some of the DNA of Barcelona's Dream Team will make its way into the club's next incarnation.