Graduation 2024 at Johan Cruyff Institute: a celebration of commitment, camaraderie and teamwork

July 5, 2024

Graduation 2024 at Johan Cruyff Institute: a celebration of commitment, camaraderie and teamwork.

The figure of Johan Cruyff and his academic legacy took center stage at the graduations of the 2023-2024 class of Johan Cruyff Institute held in Barcelona and Amsterdam

The 2023-2024 academic cycle came to an end, and it closed in the best way: with a graduation ceremony, the finishing touch to a year of efforts for the students of Johan Cruyff Institute. Both in Barcelona and Amsterdam, graduations were held that, far from being a farewell, represent a welcome to continue perpetuating Johan Cruyff’s great academic legacy. “Go out and enjoy” , one of his most celebrated phrases, was repeated by the faculty to the new leaders in sports management, ready to take the industry to a new level.

Cruyff Graduation Barcelona

The speech by Johan Cruyff Institute general manager Mariël Koerhuis focused on these values: “From this day on, you become Cruyff Alumni and, as such, ambassadors of the Johan Cruyff Academic Legacy. This means that you commit yourselves to the values he represents. There are already more than 10,000 Cruyff Alumni, sports professionals who started their journey from the same place you did.

With the splendid auditorium of the CosmoCaixa Museum as a backdrop, the graduation included the students of the 2023- 2024 academic cycle of four Johan Cruyff Institute programs. These are the Master in Football Business in collaboration with FC Barcelona, the Master in Sport Management in collaboration with the UAB , the Master in Sport Business blended and the Master in Sport Marketing and Management blended. The graduates and their families attended the event, which could also be followed by streaming through the website.

After the words of Nacho Mas-Bagà, academic director of the Master in Football Business, Ntsako Baloyi, the delegate chosen by the students, took the stage. “We are 18 students of the Master, from different parts of the world, and with a different vision about life and soccer. We shared laughs and discussions, and I know that with some we will not see each other again, but I will remember them all. We now have a challenging road ahead of us, but we will be together. Johan Cruyff Institute offered us an unforgettable experience: individual meetings with industry leaders, challenging classes, memorable trips. Moments in life where everything stops, unique experiences”.

Graduation Ceremony 2024 - Barcelona

On behalf of the UAB, Judith Panadés, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and Ricard Esparza, academic coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Sports Management, both on-site and online, spoke at the ceremony. Emilio Cortés and Pau Yébenes were chosen by the students to speak. Halfway through the evening, the academic director of the Master in Sport Business Blended and the Master in Sport Marketing and Management Blended, Jordi Viñas, stressed the importance of upholding the values of Johan Cruyff: “In your professional career there will be moments of euphoria and also some disappointments. What should always accompany you are ideas such as perseverance, passion, commitment, resilience, leadership, in short, purpose. Don’t stop: life, like sport, teaches us that everything has a reason, a raison d’être, a motive to make us better”.

The last delegates of the evening to give their speeches were Laura d’Angelo and Marc Gutiérrez, students of the Master’s Degree in Marketing and Sports Management. Their words also gave an account of the importance of effort and work to successfully complete this academic challenge: “We come from different corners of the world: Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Italy, Germany and many more, united by a passion: sport. We want to motivate you to go wherever you want to go, because we know that you have the knowledge to do it. The road will surely not be easy and there will certainly be ups and downs. It is in our hands to stand up and face all the obstacles that come up. We trust and believe in you, and we will be here to help each other.”

And to round off a memorable graduation, Johan Cruyff Institute wanted to recognize excellence by presenting a special award to the best academic records of the different programs: Marc Vila (Master in Sport Management Barcelona), Rubén Horcas (Master in Sport Management Online), Ntsako Baloyi (Master in Football Business in partnership with FC Barcelona), Ensar Demir (Master in Sport Business) and Neus Jover Sampol (Master in Sport Marketing and Management Blended).

The evening ended on the terrace of CosmoCaixa, where students and their families shared experiences, laughs and projects while enjoying a cocktail. A new academic cycle ends, a new generation of professionals joins the sports industry, representing the values of Johan Cruyff Institute.

Cruyff Graduation Amsterdam

Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam graduations were held at the Frans Otten Stadion, an unbeatable setting for an evening celebrating sportsmanship. Graduates of the Master in Coaching on June 7 and the Master in Sport Management on June 14 were celebrated. At the Master in Coaching graduation, it was Henk Groener, one of the program’s main professors, who welcomed the attendees. Later in the ceremony, Marcel van der Kraan, editor-in-chief of Telesport, sent his congratulations to the graduates, and especially to Dieke Hendriks and Jetze Plat, who completed the program thanks to a Telesport scholarship. In addition to the thank-you speeches, the students presented the professors with a special Cruyff towel with their own quote, celebrating Johan’s spirit.

MIC Graduation Ceremony 2024 - Amsterdam

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude towards the problem.” With that phrase, which is very reminiscent of Johan Cruyff’s famous sentences, Bob de Jong, a graduate of the Master in Sport Management addressed his fellow students in his speech. De Jong, who also received a scholarship from Telesport, was congratulated by Marcel van der Kraan in another video shown during the ceremony. The graduation event, held a week later, was opened by Richard Denton. In his speech, the academic director of the Master in Sport Management, shared with the new graduates and all the people present at the Frans Otten Stadium his congratulations.

Graduation Ceremony 2024 - Amsterdam

One of the most celebrated speeches of the evening came from Bart Liebregts, another graduate. In his speech, he imagined that he was hired to form the Manchester United team. In this way, he went on to name each of his colleagues for the various positions: from the Senior Manager to the players on the field. At the end of his speech, he stressed the importance of maintaining team spirit: “I know you will all achieve great careers, but I hope that we will remain a team even after the studies”.

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