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'Deeply touched' Johan Cruyff family plan private funeral

Amsterdam: Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff, who died aged 68 after a five-month battle with lung cancer, was to be cremated on Friday afternoon in Barcelona, the daily De Telegraaf reported.

A fan places a statue among other floral tributes outside the family home of the late Johan Cruyff in Amsterdam yesterday. Pic/AFP
A fan places a statue among other floral tributes outside the family home of the late Johan Cruyff in Amsterdam yesterday. Pic/AFP

The ceremony will be a private family one, said the newspaper for which the former Dutch international wrote a column. In a statement on Cruyff’s website, his family said they were “currently making arrangements for a private farewell to Johan as their beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend.”

No date concerning a funeral was given.

Yohan Cruyff
Yohan Cruyff

Speaking on behalf on his family, Cruyff’s son Jordi (42), who played under his father at Barcelona, said: "On behalf of my mother, sisters and the rest of the family, I would like to say thank you for all the love, kind words and memories that have been shared with us, since Friday but also over the past months. It has touched us deeply that Johan was such an inspiration to many of you."

"Once again, we do ask you to respect the privacy of the family in these emotional and sensitive times We are aware that many people would like to pay tribute to and celebrate Johan’s life. We are also aware that various tributes in memory of Johan will take place and we welcome any kind of celebration in honor of his life. However, it’s important to mention that none of them are memorials organised or endorsed by the Cruyff family or Cruyff management."

Cruyff, one of the greatest footballers in history, died on Thursday in Barcelona.

The Dutchman won three European Cups as a player with Ajax as well as three Ballon d’Or titles (1971, 1973, 1974). He is survived by his wife, Danny, and their three children Chantal (46), Susila (44) and Jordi.

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