Football legend Johan Cruyff dies of cancer
Legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, aged 68, succumbed to his battle against lung cancer and died peacefully in Barcelona surrounded by his family. Cruyff, a heavy smoker till 1991, announced that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2015. Always an optimist, Cruyff had said last month that he was "2-0 up in the first half" of his game with lung cancer.
Cruyff made his senior debut for Ajax Amsterdam in 1964. He inspired Ajax to 8 Dutch Eredivisie titles and 3 European Championships in his tenure at the club. Cruyff joined Barcelona in 1973 for a record $2 million fee, and led the Catalans to a La Liga title in 1974. Cruyff also played for Feyenoord, Levante, the Los Angeles Aztecs and the Washington Diplomats.
In his club career, Johan Cruyff scored a massive 293 goals in 520 matches. Cruyff also shined in his short international career, netting 33 times in 48 games for Holland.
As a Dutch international player, Johan Cruyff played 48 matches in his career. Despite his short international career, Cruyff, along with then-coach Rinus Michels, helped develop the "Total Football" style of play which revolutionized the game of football. In his only ever FIFA World Cup appearance in 1974, Cruyff led Holland to the finals eventually losing 2-1 to the hosts - West Germany.
Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff's brainchild, a tactic called "Total Football", took the world by storm in the 1970s. It was a style of play that involved players constantly interchanging positions and roles on the field.
Cruyff followed in the footsteps of his mentor Rinus Michels and took over as Ajax's coach in 1985. He lead the Dutch side to 2 Dutch Cups and a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 3 years. Cruyff took over as Barcelona's coach in 1988, leading the Catalans to 4 La Liga titles, 3 Super Cups, 1 European Championship and 1 Copa Del Rey title.
As a coach, Johan Cruyff had a stellar record. He had 242 victories, 75 draws and 70 losses out of the 387 matches played by sides coached by him.