Never for­got­ten

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PEOPLE -

TRIB­UTES to football great Jo­han Cruyff, who died in Barcelona on Thurs­day fol­low­ing a five- month bat­tle with lung cancer, have poured in:

“We have lost a great man. May we carry on his ex­am­ple of ex­cel­lence. Jo­han Cruyff was a great player and coach. He leaves a very im­por­tant legacy for our fam­ily of football.” – Brazil's triple World Cup win­ner Pele

“I played against and tried to mark Jo­han Cruyff in the fi­nal of the Euro­pean Cup in 1969. He could break down any sys­tem and you re­ally didn't un­der­stand what was go­ing on. He was a univer­sal player, who fol­lowed in ( Al­fredo) Di Ste­fano's foot­steps, he didn't just at­tack up front but he dropped back to pick up the ball. He was ev­ery­thing and he wasn't any­thing, there wasn't a role for him.” – for­mer Italy and Ju­ven­tus coach Gio­vanni Tra­p­at­toni

“The whole world knew him and through him the world knew the Nether­lands.” – Dutch Prime Min­is­ter Mark Rutte

“I'm shocked. He was not only a good friend but like a brother to me.” – Franz Beck­en­bauer, who played against Cruyff in the 1974 World Cup fi­nal

“I had the priv­i­lege of hav­ing him as a coach when I played at Barcelona. He was, with­out doubt the great­est coach I had, his teach­ings will be eter­nally with me. He knew bet­ter than any­one how to take ad­van­tage of what ev­ery mem­ber of the team did best and he knew my skill was scor­ing goals.” – Brazil­ian striker Ro­mario

“Sad to hear that Jo­han Cruyff has died. Football has lost a man who did more to make the beau­ti­ful game beau­ti­ful than any­one in his­tory.” – Gary Lineker

“He was one of those great, great foot­ballers that made you ex­cited when­ever he got the ball and be­gan to play. There was al­ways ex­pec­ta­tion in the crowd when Jo­han was on the pitch. There wasn't a neg­a­tive thought in his head. He loved the game, he loved sport and he loved life. He was one of the great­est foot­ballers I have ever seen, you would put him in the same class as Pele, Di Ste­fano and Maradona. The kind of football he played changed the game and still has an im­pact today.” – Eng­land's 1966 World Cup win­ner Bobby Charl­ton — Reuters

— AP

Brazil­ian leg­end Pele, then play­ing for the new york Cos­mos, hugs Cruyff in new york af­ter the Dutch star had been signed to play in a pair of ex­hi­bi­tion games for the Cos­mos in 1978.

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