Johan Cruyff dies age 68, five months after cancer diagnosis

An icon with both Ajax and Barcelona, Cruyff was the posterboy of the ‘Total Football’ generation and widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time

by Will Magee
24 March 2016, 1:28pm

Dutch Nationaal Archief

Johan Cruyff has died at the age of 68, mere months after his diagnosis with lung cancer.

After making his senior debut for Ajax in 1964, Cruyff went on to become one of the greatest players in world football. He claimed eight Eredivisie titles during his time in Holland as well as three European Cups, before moving to Barcelona in 1973 and winning La Liga in his first season at the club. He also won the Ballon d'Or on three occasions - in 1971, 1973 and 1974.

An icon of Holland's 'Total Football' generation, he led his country to the final of the 1974 World Cup where, despite the Oranje finishing runners-up to West Germany, he received the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.

Taking the core principles of Total Football into his management career, he guided Ajax to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1987 before moving on to Barca once more. He won four more La Liga titles during his time in Catalonia, as well as the European Cup.

A statement on his official website reads:

"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".

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