Soccer community honors Johan Cruyff after Dutch legend’s death
Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff died of lung cancer at the age of 68 on Thursday.
Cruyff was a three-time Ballon d’Or winner and won three straight European Cups with Ajax. He spent time as a member of the Dutch national team, where he led the team to its first ever World Cup final in 1974. He also played for Barcelona, which he later managed to its first European Cup victory in 1992.
Cruyff underwent double bypass surgery in 1991. Afterwards, he quit smoking and resorted to sucking lollipops in the Barcelona dugout.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino issued the following statement in response to Cruyff’s death:
“Johan Cruyff was a magnificent player, one of the greatest players the world has ever known. A symbol of elegant play. An inspiration. A source of admiration for fans. He has marked football history for ever. I'm very saddened by his death. He will be terribly missed. Both personally and on behalf of FIFA and the world football community. I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”
The worldwide soccer community mourned the loss of one of its stars on Twitter, with many athletes posting tributes to Cruyff.
Sad to hear that Johan Cruyff has died. Football has lost a man who did more to make the beautiful game beautiful than anyone in history.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 24, 2016
Terrible news that Johan Cryuff has passed away. One of the greatest players ever, a true giant in our game, he will be sadly missed. RIP— Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) March 24, 2016
Geschokt en bedroefd over overlijden Johan Cruijff. Een onvergetelijk sportman & onvergetelijk mens. Ik wens nabestaanden heel veel sterkte.— Minister-president (@MinPres) March 24, 2016
Absolutely devastated about the passing of Johann Cryuff. RIP. ⚽️— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) March 24, 2016
The news of Cruyff’s death was announced on his official website on Thursday morning.