Brazil great Pele has hailed Johan Cruyff’s “example of excellence” after the former Netherlands star died at the age of 68.
Tributes have poured in for the ex-Ajax and Barcelona great, who lost his battle with lung cancer on Thursday.
Now the man regarded by many as the greatest footballer in history has hailed the legacy left by arguably the finest European to play the game, and urged others to follow his example in future.
“Johan Cruyff was a great player and coach,” Pele said via his official Twitter account. “He leaves a very important legacy for our family of football.
“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. pic.twitter.com/b2VuTjDZuu
— Pelé (@Pele) March 24, 2016
Cruyff won three consecutive European Cups as part of an all-conquering Ajax team during the 1970s, before going on to inspire Barcelona to the league title in Spain and Netherlands to the final of the World Cup in 1974.
He later coached Barcelona to four consecutive Liga titles and a maiden European Cup success, leaving an indelible mark on the club’s academy set-up and favoured footballing culture.