Sport - Johan Cruyff of Netherlands dies of cancer aged 68

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Netherlands footballing great Johan Cruyff has died of cancer aged 68.
Cruyff, who made his name as a forward with Ajax and Barcelona, was European footballer of the year three times.
He won three consecutive European Cups with Ajax from 1971, coached Barcelona to their first European Cup triumph in 1992 and helped the Dutch reach the 1974 World Cup final, where they were beaten 2-1 by West Germany.
The Dutch FA said: "Words can hardly be found for this huge loss."
It added: "The greatest Dutch footballer of all time and one of the world's best ever. Our condolences go to his wife, family, friends and the entire football world at home and abroad. We wish everyone a lot of strength in this difficult time."
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Cruyff: The man who made 'Total Football' reality
Memories of Cruyff and his famous turn
Why does Johan Cruyff matter?
World Cup moments: Watch Cruyff's turn
Barcelona expressed "its pain and sorrow" at "such a painful moment".
He first showcased the 'Cruyff turn' at the 1974 World Cup in a match for the Netherlands against Sweden and scored 33 goals in 48 international appearances.
He scored 293 goals in 521 appearances for five different clubs - including 204 in 276 games while winning 18 trophies in two spells for Ajax.
Johan Cruyff: Trophies as a player and a manager
Playing career:Managerial career:
AjaxEuropean Cup x 3, European Super Cup x 2, Dutch league title x 8, Dutch Cup x 5, Intercontinental Cup x 1, Super Cup x 1European Cup Winners' Cup x 1, Dutch Cup x 2
BarcelonaSpanish league title x 1, Spanish Cup x 1European Cup x 1, European Cup Winners' Cup x 1, European Super Cup x 1, Spanish league title x 4, Spanish Cup x 1, Spanish Super Cup x 3
FeyenoordDutch league title x 1, Dutch Cup x 1
Johan Cruyff performs his amazing trick against Sweden
Archive: World Cup moments - Cruyff's turn
Cruyff had double heart bypass surgery in 1991, and immediately after the operation gave up smoking and took to sucking lollipops in the Barcelona dugout.
He featured in a Catalan health department advert, saying: "Football has given me everything in life, tobacco almost took it all away."
The Catalan side won four consecutive La Liga titles from 1990-91 to 1993-94 under his guidance and, although he was sacked in 1995, he remained influential at the club for the rest of his life.
Cruyff was diagnosed with cancer in October 2015 but in February of this year he said he felt he was "2-0 up in a match" against lung cancer and he was "sure I will end up winning".
Barcelona players
Barcelona players wear T-shirts in support of Johan Cruyff earlier this year

'True football royalty' - tributes to Cruyff

FC Barcelona tweet
Gary Lineker tweet
Manchester City and Belgium captain Vincent Kompany: "RIP Johan Cruyff, true football royalty. I don't think anyone has ever influenced the game as much as he has done. We have all been touched and inspired by his vision and his beliefs. Football will miss him but we will never forget."
Former World Cup-winning Germany captain Lothar Matthaus: "Such sad news about Johan Cruyff. A great man, who transformed football. Condolences to his family and friends."
Sergio Ramos tweet
Osvaldo Ardiles tweet
Former Germany World Cup winner and manager Jurgen Klinsmann: "Very sad news about the death of legend Johan Cruyff. What an amazing player, Coach, teacher and person he was."
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer: "I am shocked. Johan Cruyff has died. He was not only a very good friend, but a brother to me."
Patrick Kluivert
Johan Cruyff
Xabi Alonso Tweet
Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso
Steve Archibald tweet
Former Scotland and Barcelona striker Steve Archibald on BBC Radio 5 live: "His body movement was different from everyone else's and he was full of invention, with the machinery of a Rolls Royce"
Former Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Paddy Crerand: "When you talk about the greatest players that ever lived he was one of them.
"I am so sad to hear about it. He turned out to be a fabulous manager as well. It was a pleasure for me to be in the company of such a great player."
Veteran former England international and BBC summariser Jimmy Armfield:"He was truly one of the great ambassadors as well as much as anything else. He was the all-purpose player, he could get up and down the pitch and he was clever enough to have a manoeuvre and the Cruyff turn that so many kids try to emulate today."
John Toshack coached Real Madrid while Cruyff was in charge of La Liga rivals Barcelona during the 1989-91 seasons. He said: "The memories I have of him are on the golf course, when we could forget about the football and enjoy the sunshine."
Ronal Koeman Twitter
Ruud Gullit
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez: "A football legend...I want to express my deepest regret at the death of Johan Cruyff and transmit on behalf of Real Madrid our condolences and our love to FC Barcelona and most especially his wife and their children . He was an extraordinary player, so today is a very sad day for the world of football."
Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter: "Johan Cruyff gave football a unique touch that some try to copy. I'm very moved. He was an extraordinary personality who, along with Rinus Michels, kicked off total football. Football will miss Cruyff."
Barcelonastriker Luis Suarez: Thank you very much for everything you gave football, Ajax and Barca. DEP, Johan.
Trevor Brooking West Ham Tweet
West Ham and England legend Trevor Brooking
New Fifa president Gianni Infantino: "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."
Manchester United and England legend Bobby Charlton: "I was proud to have known Johan. He was one of those great, great footballers that made you excited whenever he got the ball and began to play. There was always expectation in the crowd when Johan was on the pitch. There wasn't a negative thought in his head. He loved the game, he loved sport and he loved life. The kind of football he played changed the game and still has an impact today."
Roy Hodgson: "We're talking about one of the real greats of the game. Sometimes the word legend is used a little bit loosely, sometimes even flippantly. But there are one or two greats, and one or two legends, and Johan Cruyff is one of those."
Robin van Persie
Memphis Depay
Did you know...
Johan Cruyff nearly signed for Leicester City in 1981 when Jock Wallace was manager, according to reports.
Between 1970 and 1974, the Netherlands lost only one of the 29 matches in which Cruyff featured - the 1974 World Cup final against West Germany.
A kidnap attempt, in which a rifle was held to the head of Cruyff, played a part in the Dutchman's decision to miss the 1978 World Cup, according to reports.
Cruyff was born Hendrik Johannes Cruijff on 25 April 1947.
He had more successful dribbles in the 1974 World Cup (34) than any other player. This included hisfamous 'turn'against Sweden.
Cruyff scored on his Netherlands debut but received a red card in his second match (v Czechoslovakia). With that red card, he was the first player to be sent off for the Netherlands.

'In a way, I'm probably immortal' - Cruyff in quotes

Johan Cruyff and Ruud Gullit
Johan Cruyff, pictured with former Netherlands captain Ruud Gullit, ended his last spell as a manager with the Catalonia national team in 2013
Cruyff was also known for his outspoken opinions:
On himself:
  • "In a way I'm probably immortal."
  • "If I wanted you to understand it all, I would have explained it better."
  • "Actually I never make a mistake, because it takes a huge effort for me to make a mistake."
  • "I don't believe in God. In Spain all 22 players cross themselves, if it works the game is always going to be a tie."
On football and his philosophy
  • "Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is."
  • "Italians can't win the game against you, but you can lose the game against the Italians."
  • "Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring."
  • "It's better to go down with your own vision than with someone else's."
  • "In my teams, the goalie is the first attacker, and the striker the first defender."
  • "There is only one ball, so you need to have it."
  • "Why couldn't you beat a richer club? I've never seen a bag of money score a goal."
The Netherlands play France in Ajax's Amsterdam Arena in a friendly on Friday (19:45 GMT) and face England at Wembley on Tuesday (20:00).
BBC Radio 5 live will broadcast a special programme paying tribute to Cruyff at 19:00 GMT on Thursday, followed by another programme at 21:00 on Friday.
What were your personal memories of Johan Cruyff? Leave your comments below.
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