“Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.” — Johan Cruyff
Let us admit the fact that any word would fall short to describe the legendary Johan Cruyff. The “Flying Dutchman” lost the battle against cancer on Thursday at the age of 68.
As per the Mirror UK, a statement on the three-time Ballon d’Or winner’s official website confirmed his passing:
“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.”
According to the BBC reports, Cruyff “made his name” as a forward with Ajax and Barcelona, and was also part of the 1974 World Cup squad where Netherlands lost to West Germany 2-1.
The Dutch FA said: “Words can hardly be found for this huge loss.”
It added, “Cruyff will remain the greatest Dutch footballer of all time and one of the world’s best ever.”
We Believe, no space is big enough to illustrate the Dutchman’s top moments. Bleacher Report did manage to put together some of the most best moments during the legend’s extraordinary career.
Here are 8 Greatest Johan Cruyff Moments of all time.
1. Ajax vs Juventus, Champions League Final in 1973 — As the reports suggest, Cruyff first joined Ajax at the age of 10 and later went on to help Ajax seal the Champions League title for his club.
2. Johan Cruyff’s World Cup Stint in 1974 — He led Netherlands through to the finals of the 1974. His style of “total football” garnered huge popularity at that time.
3. Winning Three Ballons D’Or — In the early 1970s everything seemed to favour Cruyff as he went on to win the Ballon d’Or in 1971, 1972, and again in 1974.
4. Cruyff with Barcelona in 1974— The 1974 year was very special to the footballer. Bleacher Report quotes, “He helped Barcelona win their first league title in 14 years in his debut season in Catalonia.” He scored 16 goals in 26 league appearances that season, notes the source.
5. The Impossible goal vs Atletico Madrid.
6. Master mind behind the pass penalty.
7. He helped beat Sampdoria in 1992.
8. Johan Cruyff as Barcelona coach.