Barcelona plans Johan Cruyff tribute at training center

Saturday March 25th, 2017

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) One year after his death, Barcelona says it will name the future stadium at its training center after Dutch great Johan Cruyff.

The new stadium at Barcelona's training center just outside the Catalan city will be called ''Johan Cruyff Stadium'' in honor of the club's former player and coach.

Barcelona says in a statement that ''the most emblematic building in the facility where future Barca players are coached is to be named after somebody who played such a central role in fostering youth talent at the club.''

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Barcelona also says it will commission a ''commemorative sculpture'' of Cruyff, who died of lung cancer on March 24 last year at age 68. The statue will be placed at Barcelona's main Camp Nou stadium.

Cruyff is largely credited with launching Barcelona's era of trophy success, both as a player and a coach.

As a player, Cruyff joined Barcelona midseason in 1973 and led the middle-of-the-table team to its first national title in a decade.

He later returned as a coach and guided Barcelona to four consecutive Spanish leagues from 1991-94 and the club's first European Cup in 1992.

''I think the tributes are very warming,'' said Cruyff's son, Jordi Cruyff. ''It sort of changes the sadness that we might feel as family to lose a father, a husband and a grandfather. It changes to a certain kind of pride to understand that he left something behind.''

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