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Dutch soccer legend Johan Cruyff died

Cruyff’s talent was such that he is comfortably placed alongside Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Lionel Messi as the best footballers of all time.

Mar 25, 2016 15:00 IST
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Johan CruyffThe Netherland's soccer legend Johan Cruyff died of  lung cancer on 24 March 2016 in Barcelona, Spain. He was 68.

Cruyff’s talent was such that he is comfortably placed alongside Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Lionel Messi as the best footballers of all time.

About Johan Cruyff

• He was considered as one of the best player, coach, thinker, speaker and mentor in the football world.

• Apart from the national team of The Netherlands, he represented Ajax Amsterdam, Barcelona, Los Angeles Aztecs among others.

• He was also the manager of the football clubs – Barcelona, Ajax and Catalonia.

• During the career spanning over 19 years, he scored 33 goals in the 48 matches he played for The Netherlands national team. Overall, he scored 392 times in 520 games.

• As a coach he had 242 victories in 387 matches, with 75 draws and 70 losses.

• He reached his sporting peak in the early 1970s and went on to successfully manage Barcelona.

• With Cruyff on the field, Ajax won the European Cup for three consecutive years from 1971-1973 before he moved to FC Barcelona midseason in 1973 and led the middle-of-the-table team to its first national title in a decade.

• He played a key role as the coach of The Netherlands in 1974 FIFA World Cup in which the team was runner up.

• He was European player of the year three times and, in 1999, was named Europe's Best Player of The 20th Century.

• In the football world, he is famous for inventing 'Total Football' tactics in which players constantly interchange roles.

• The tactics influenced the game worldwide, bringing fresh life to a sport that had become stuck in a defensive mindset.

• He is also associated with the ‘Cruyff turn’ -- a technique he used for passing defenders by faking toward them, then flicking the ball behind his own other leg in the opposite direction and darting after it.

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