Johan Cruyff named Catalonia coach

MADRID - Former Netherlands international Johan Cruyff has been named coach of Catalonia, the autonomous Spanish community's football federation (FCF) said on Monday.

The 62-year-old Cruyff, who will not receive any payment, will be presented to the media on November 9 and will also work with the federation on sporting and social projects, according to FCF president Jordi Casals.

"It's a role that has no remuneration and I thank him very much and I think Catalan soccer and Catalonia should feel proud," Casals was quoted as saying in the Spanish media.

The FCF would also work with Cruyff's charitable foundation as part of the deal, he added.

Catalonia is not recognised as a national team by football's world governing body FIFA or its European equivalent UEFA but the regional team typically play a friendly against an international side in December each year.

They beat Colombia 2-1 at the Nou Camp last December with Barca players Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Bojan Krkic and Sergio Busquets in the squad.

Cruyff, who moved to the Catalan capital from Ajax Amsterdam to play for Barcelona in 1973 and led them to a European Cup triumph as coach in 1992, has not taken charge of a team since he quit Barca in 1996.

He has embraced Catalan culture since his move to Barcelona, where he still lives, and named his son Jordi (George) after Catalonia's patron saint.

The former European Player of the Year last year agreed to help Ajax revamp their youth programme but pulled out because of differences with then-coach Marco van Basten.

FCF president Casals said he did not think it was a problem that Cruyff does not speak fluent Catalan.