Cruyff to be cremated Friday in Barcelona

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 13, 2012 shows Dutch former football player Johan Cruyff looking on at a training session of Mexican team Chivas in Guadalajara on June 13, 2012. Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest footballers in history, died on March 24, 2016 at the age of 68 after losing his battle with cancer, it was announced on his official Twitter account. / AFP / HECTOR GUERRERO AND -

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 13, 2012 shows<br />Dutch former football player Johan Cruyff looking on at a training session of Mexican team Chivas in Guadalajara on June 13, 2012.<br />Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest footballers in history, died on March 24, 2016 at the age of 68 after losing his battle with cancer, it was announced on his official Twitter account. / AFP / HECTOR GUERRERO AND –

Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff, who has died aged 68 after a five-month battle with lung cancer, was to be cremated on Friday afternoon in Barcelona, the daily De Telegraaf reported.

The ceremony will be a private family one, said the newspaper for which the former Dutch international wrote a column.

In a statement on Cruyff’s website, his family said they were “currently making arrangements for a private farewell to Johan as their beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend”.

No date concerning a funeral was given.

Speaking on behalf on his family, Cruyff’s son Jordi, 42, who played under his father at Barcelona, said: “On behalf of my mother, sisters and the rest of the family I would like to say thank you for all the love, kind words and memories that have been shared with us, since yesterday but also over the past months.

“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.”

“Once again, we do ask you to respect the privacy of the family in these emotional and sensitive times.

“We are aware that many people would like to pay tribute to and celebrate Johan’s life.

“We are also aware that various tributes in memory of Johan will take place and we welcome any kind of celebration in honor of his life. However, it’s important to mention that none of them are memorials organized or endorsed by the Cruyff family or Cruyff management.”

Cruyff, one of the greatest footballers in history, died on Thursday in Barcelona.

The Dutchman won three European Cups as a player with Ajax as well as three Ballon d’Or titles (1971, 1973, 1974). He then led Barcelona to their first European Cup title as a manager in 1992.

He is survived by his wife, Danny, and their three children Chantal, 46, Susila, 44, and Jordi.



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