Johan Cruyff

Week 128 (26 March - 1 April 2016)

There is little left to write that can further celebrate the memory of the late, great Johan Cruyff as a master of the beautiful game. The outpouring of tributes for the Dutch footballer and later football manager – who died last Thursday in Barcelona – has been remarkable.

Every element of his contribution to football has been lionised: his vision, his balance, his creativity, his eye for the goal, his pioneering "Cruyff turn", his leadership, his tactical awareness – the list goes on.

Cruyff's career and life touched people personally. He achieved huge success as a footballer, winning the world player of the year on three occasions and as a coach, winning 11 trophies in 8 years at Barcelona – yet his legacy is in how he made people feel when they watched him play or watched a team that he had managed.

This is why we have seen football matches over the past week pause and applaud Cruyff's life in the 14th minute (the number on his jersey for the majority of his illustrious career). It's also why we've seen the Dutch Football Federation issue a statement which didn't say anything more than:

"With great sadness we have learned of the death of Johan Cruyff. Words are not enough." It's why we'll see Barcelona wear commemorative jerseys in memory of Johan Cruyff in the match v Real Madrid on Saturday evening, and it's also why we saw an English footballer exhibit a perfect Cruyff turn en route to scoring a crucial goal in a grudge match against Germany just days after the Dutchman died. These things don't happen by chance.

Johan Cruyff spoke through football and everyone remembers what he said, and how it made them feel.

Photo: Squawka