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Published: 12:41 | 24/3/16

Johan Cruyff passes away

Johan Cruyff has died aged 68 after a battle with cancer.

The former Barcelona and Netherlands player was diagnosed with cancer in October but lost his battle on Friday, passing away surrounded by his family and friends.

"On March 24 2016 Johan Cruyff (68) died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer. It’s with great sadness that we ask you to respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief," a statement on his website read.

Cruyff won three consecutive European Cups with Ajax and during two spells at the club he won eight Eredivisie titles. He moved to Barcelona where he won the league and Cup.

After his playing career ended, he moved into coaching first at Ajax before returning to Barcelona, guiding the Catalan giants to four league titles, a European Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

The Spanish club tweeted their condolences shortly after Cruyff's passing, posting: "We'll always love you, Johan. Rest in peace."

At international level, Cruyff helped the Netherlands reach the 1974 World Cup final, where they were beaten 2-1 by West Germany.

"Words can hardly be found for this huge loss," a statement from the Dutch FA read.

It added: "The greatest Dutch footballer of all time and one of the world's best ever. Our condolences go to his wife, family, friends and the entire football world at home and abroad. We wish everyone a lot of strength in this difficult time."

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