"A deep black day for football": Dozens react to Johan Cruijff's death
Johan Cruijff's death on Thursday shook the Netherlands by the roots. Dozens of people, both in and out of the football world, expressed the shock, sadness and condolences in the minutes after his death was announced.
"We wish the family and friends of Johan Cruijff much strength. Rest in peace, Johan", FC Utrecht responded on Twitter. "We'll always love you Johan. Rest in peace.", FC Barcelona tweeted. "Ajax shares in this great loss and wishes the family a lot of strength", the Amsterdam club said in a statement. "Deeply saddened by the death of Johan Cruijff, the greatest Dutch footballer of all time", Feyenoord tweeted.
"With great sadness we learned of the death of Johan Cruijff. Words fail us", Dutch football association KNVB tweeted.
Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health, Welfare and Sports told broadcaster NOS that she has many warm memories of Cruijff. "Not only as the best footballer in the world, but also on a personal level. I immediately saw how much passion he had for sports. Not only elite, but also sports for children" she said. She and Cruijff spent much time together founding the Dutch Sport Council. "He left a lot behind for the Netherlands. Jetlag or not. Cruijff never overlooked anyone who wanted an autograph. He was an athlete of the people."
"It is a deep black day for Ajax and for the entire Dutch football. He meant a lot to Ajax and the entire Dutch football. He had a huge impact as a football player. But also as coach. He stood for innovation and renewal", Sander Huisman, vice chairman and spokesperson of the AFCA Supporters Club, said to RTL Z.
"Johan Cruijff is a legend. It is a cliche, but the Netherlands lost an icon. I find it terrible", sports presenter Kees Jansma said to the broadcaster. According to him, "a combination of insight, speed, efficiency and team spirit", is what made Cruijff a genius.
Former international Ruud Gullit told the Telegraaf that he is perplexed. "I thought he was doing better. The Netherlands lost a face in the world. He put our football on the map. For my career he was of great importance."
"He stood at the foundation of Ajax successes. That he later also showed in Oranje and FC Barcelona. Also in his role as coach he showed unique abilities. He brought football to a new level", said sportswriter Leo Dreissen.
"Interviews with Cruijff were always a feast", said sports reporter Marceh Maijer. "It was never dull. It was always interesting. I loved working with him. He was always very open. A lot of people in sports can still learn from that."
"Johan Cruyff, the man credited with helping reinvent modern soccer, has died aged 68", CNN writes. Spanish newspaper El Pais describes him as "mythical
Diep bedroefd door het overlijden van Johan Cruijff, de grootste Nederlandse voetballer aller tijden. pic.twitter.com/XsiIHllb34
Rust zacht Johan. pic.twitter.com/SIKdtToh1q
We'll always love you, Johan. Rest in peace