DUTCH football legend Johan Cruyff, who was voted world player of the year three times, took his country to the World Cup final in 1974 and managed a hugely successful Barcelona side for eight years has died at the age of 68 following a battle with cancer.
“On March 24 2016 Johan Cruyff (68) died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer. It’s with great sadness that we ask you to respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement on Cruyff’s website.
The former Ajax and Barcelona man was considered one of the best players in footballing history and was voted European Player of the Century in 1999. He was also regarded as an influential player who was a prime manifestation of the Total Football philosophy which saw Dutch football reach unprecedented heights in the 1970’s and shape future generations.
His legacy outlives him as his pioneering brand of youth academies and coaching methods have become part of the fabric of the modern game.