Dutch King, PM saddened by Cruijff’s death

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King Willem-Alexander, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health, Welfare and Sports all commented on the death of football legend Johan Cruijff. They are all shocked by his passing and saddened by the loss of an icon.

"With the death of Johan Cruijff the Netherlands loses a unique and brilliant sportsman. He enriched our football and gave it a new face. He also put his heart and soul into making the sport accessible to everyone", King Willem-Alexander said. "He was an icon of the Netherlands. Johan Cruijff was of all of us. My wife and I sympathize with his family and friends on this sad day."

Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Cruijff "by far" the most famous Dutchman in the world and an ambassador for the Netherlands at his weekly press conference, NOS reports. "The whole world knew him and through him the whole world knew the Netherlands and Dutch football."

Rutte said that he was heartbroken by Cruijff's death. He stressed that Cruijff worked hard for society after his football career, a role in which Rutte encountered him numerous time. "Many people come to the Torentje, but never before have I experienced someone visiting who everyone in General Affairs wants a picture with.", he said. He expressed his condolences to Cruijff's family and friends.

"I am deeply touched by the unexpected death of Johan Cruijff." Minister Schippers said. According to her Cruijff was "best footballer of all times" and he knew how to captivate thousands of people all over the world. "All over the world: everyone knew Cruijff: he was a great ambassador for the sport and our country."

Schippers talked about how Cruijff remained committed to football after his career. "I saw him up close my self as a very involved and fine man, who liked to think along with his experience and contribute knowledge for the future of the sport in the Netherlands." Cruijff helped her a lot in setting up the Dutch Sports Council. "And in that it was not all about football and sport for him. His heart was so emphatically with the youth. The Cruijff Courts in the Netherlands and in many places in the world make his ambition that every child should be able to play sports a reality. The world lost a great sportsman, an icon and a fine man."

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