Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta praised the indelible legacy left on the club by former coach Johan Cruyff, who died on Thursday.
The former Netherlands and Ajax star, who had been battling lung cancer, passed away in Barcelona surrounded by his family.
Cruyff won La Liga with Barca as a player, but gained huge renown for his impact as a coach, as his fabled ‘Dream Team’ featuring the likes of Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman, Romario and Hristo Stoichkov claimed four successive league titles between 1991 and 1994.
His time with the club saw youth coaching within La Masia embrace his approach towards ‘Total Football’ and encouraged the development of the stars behind their astounding modern success, including Iniesta, Lionel Messi and former captain Xavi.
Un día triste. Se va una leyenda y una persona clave para el Barça y el fútbol. Mi más sentido pésame a la familia. pic.twitter.com/QQ20emK0D0
— Andrés Iniesta (@andresiniesta8) March 24, 2016
Speaking to the media after learning of the news, Iniesta said: “For the Barcelona family, and the family of the footballing world, it’s a great loss.
“It’s a sad day for everything that he meant and means. It’s a loss which touches all of us, especially his family.
“I didn’t have too close a relationship with him as circumstances didn’t allow it. But I know the influence he had on the club and that he transmitted to all future generations.
“He has been a key person in the successes of Barcelona.”