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Johan Cruyff dies at 68 after cancer battle
Published :Friday, 25 March, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 17

Barcelona, March 24: Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest footballers in history, died on Thursday at the age of 68 from lung cancer, his family announced.
The Dutchman "died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard-fought battle with cancer", said a statement on Cruyff's official website.
"It's with great sadness that we ask you to respect the family's privacy during their time of grief."
Cruyff won three European Cups as a player with Ajax Amsterdam and Ballon d'Or titles in 1971 with Ajax and 1973 and 1974 with Barcelona, where he starred from 1973 to 1978.
Cruyff is considered one of the best four players in history alongside Pele of Brazil, Diego Maradona of Argentina and France's Michel Platini.
With his precision passes, speed, technique and goalscoring ability, Cruyff set new standards as a player.
He was the incarnation of Total Football that took the Dutch team to the World Cup final in 1974. He inspired a new generation of footballers.
"Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is," he once said.
As a coach, Cruyff led Barcelona to their first European Cup title in 1992.
Cruyff was once a heavy smoker who gave up after heart bypass surgery in 1991. He started sucking lollipops on the touchline at Barcelona games.
News of his death still came as a shock to the football world and tributes quickly flooded in.
"He was the best player of all time," French legend Michel Platini told AFP.
"I have lost a friend, the world has lost a great man. I admired him," Platini added.
Cruyff was named Europe's player of the century in 1999.     ?AFP

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