Stars past and present react to Cruyff’s death

25 Mar

The football world reacts to the death of Johan Cruyff, one of the all-time greats, aged 68.

Franz Beckenbauer
“I am shocked. Johan Cruyff is dead. He was not only a very good friend, but like a brother for me.”

Ronald de Boer
“After [my debut under Cruyff] he took me by the arm and said ‘Lad, I know you’ll have a lot of things to deal with coming up, but don’t go for the money. Just play Football with joy. As a 12-year-old I saw him returning to Ajax and scoring a beatiful lob. He was a superstar, but without the star attitude.”

Sergio Ramos
“Goodbye to one of the legends in football history. A player and coach ahead of his time. RIP Johan Cruyff.”

Real Madrid club statement
“A footballing and sporting legend has left us. We would like to express our profound sadness at the passing of Johan Cruyff and to transmit, in the name of Real Madrid and all Real Madrid supporters, our condolences and love to FC Barcelona and especially to his wife and children. He was an extraordinary player who defined an era. Today is a very sad day for football.”

Andrés Iniesta
“It’s a very sad day not just for Barcelona, but for global football and for everyone that has seen the influence Cruyff has had on this sport. It is a huge loss. I didn’t have a very close relationship with him because we did not see each other very often, but I’ll always remember the influence he has had on the club. He was vital to the successes of Barcelona.”

Vicente del Bosque
“I’m stunned because it’s the loss of a person who meant so much for Spanish football as a coach and a footballer. He came to Barcelona in 1973 and defined an era for the club and Spanish football. He was a unique player and as a coach he means a lot for Barcelona and for Spanish football. He had a big influence on our football. It feels like a family member has left us. He was unique in every sense, as a coach and a player. He was special to everyone who was able to watch him play.”

Ruud Gullit
“I am perplexed. I thought he was doing better. The Netherlands have lost a face in the world. He put our football on the map. And for my own career he was decisive.”

Michel Platini
“Today football has lost one of its best ever players and ambassadors. I am very sad because Johan was my childhood hero, my idol and my friend. I will miss him dearly. My thoughts are with his family, and I send them my love.”

Sjaak Swart
“Johan was like Lionel Messi is now: the best of the world. I am happy that I got to play with him for such a long time [for the Netherlands and Ajax]. Let there be no doubt: He, Messi and Maradona, THOSE were the big ones. Last week I spoke to him and I thought things were going in the right direction ….”

Peter Schmeichel
“Terrible news. He was one of the greatest ever. A true giant in our game. He will be missed. Rest in peace.”

Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands
“With the passing away of Johan Cruyff, the Netherlands lose a unique and genius sportsman. He enriched football and gave it a new face. As well as that, he put his heart and soul into make sport accessible to all. He was a Dutch icon. Johan Cruyff belonged to all of us.”

Mircea Lucescu
“I remember watching the 1974 World Cup final and even if the Netherlands lost I was impressed by by Cruyff and the influence he had on his team-mates. He is a great loss to the world of football.”

An old one from Josep Guardiola …
“Johan Cruyff painted the chapel and Barcelona coaches merely restore or improve it.”


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