25 March 2016

Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyff dies at age 68

In This June 19, 1974 file photo, Netherlands Johan Cruyff, left, dodges the tackle from Sweden's Kent Karlsson during a World Cup soccer match in Dortmund, Germany. Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyff, who revolutionized the game with the concept of 'Total Football,' died Thursday March 24, 2016. He was 68.
Johan Cruyff, a soccer star who brought a smile to the face of anyone who watched him play, died Thursday, aged 68.

Family spokeswoman Carole Thate told The Associated Press that Cruyff died in Barcelona after a five-month battle with lung cancer.

Ranked alongside such global stars as Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Lionel Messi, Cruyff was one of the best footballers of all time.

He learned his trade at Ajax Amsterdam before joining the great Barcelona, and played 48 times for the Netherlands, scoring 33 goals.

Cruyff was more famous for his silky skills than soccer statistics and was the embodiment of "Total Football," a soccer philosophy that embraced high speed skills and the ability to turn defense into attack in a flash.