Dutch football icon Johan Cruyff passes away at age of 68
Dutch football great Johan Cruyff has died at the age of 68.
The former Ajax and Barcelona forward, who also managed both clubs, was diagnosed with lung cancer last October.
He died of cancer, it was announced on Thursday.
A statement on his website said: "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."
Tributes have poured in on Twitter from the footballing world, acknowledging the legacy of the total football pioneer:
Very saddened by the passing of Johan Cruyff - a dear friend unbelievable player and a national hero!!— Ian Rush MBE (@Ian_Rush9) March 24, 2016
Sad hearing the news of Johan Cruyff's death.. Massive influence on generations of footballers. RIP #Cruyff— Kevin Kilbane (@kdkilbane77) March 24, 2016
Shocked by the sad news about Johan Cruyff. RIP 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/L8ZOBDEfka— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) March 24, 2016
1/2 RIP Johan Cruyff, true football royalty. I don't think anyone has ever influenced the game as much as he has done. #JohanCruyff— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) March 24, 2016
2/2 We have all been touched and inspired by his vision and his believes. Football will miss him but we will never forget. #JohanCruyff— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) March 24, 2016
Goodbye to one of the all-time legends of football. Player and coach ahead of his time. RIP Johan Cruyff.— Sergio Ramos (@SergioRamos) March 24, 2016
RIP Johan Cruyff..One of the Greats..☝🏻— John Hartson (@JohnHartson10) March 24, 2016