Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff was cremated in Barcelona on Friday afternoon, Dutch media reported. Only his wife, children and grandchildren were in attendance, the Telegraaf said on Saturday.
Cruijff died of cancer on Thursday at the age of 68. It is customary for funerals and cremations to take place shortly after death in Spain, broadcaster Nos said.
A number of initiatives are underway to commemorate the life of the man credited with pioneering the Dutch system of ‘total football’. These include renaming Ajax’ Arena stadium in his honour, a move supported by the city council.
Son Jordi Cruijff issued a statement thanking everyone ‘on behalf of my mother, sisters and the rest of the family’ for the affection, warm words and great memories being shared.
‘It has touched us deeply that Johan was such an inspiration to many of you. We would like to express our special thanks to all the doctors and medical staff who have supported us until the end.’
Friday night’s friendly between the Netherlands and France at the Arena stadium was halted after 14 minutes for one minute’s silence in memory of the famous number 14.
A spokesman for Cruijff’s family said they valued all the initiatives which are being planned but pointed out that ‘none of them are being organised by the family’.
‘We are positive about plans for a memorial event organised by FC Barcelona, Ajax and the Dutch FA,’ the spokesman said.
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