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Amsterdam ArenA to be renamed Johan Cruyff ArenA

Amsterdam’s iconic ArenA stadium is to be renamed after late Dutch footballing great Johan Cruyff in tribute to Ajax’s homegrown star.

The stadium will become known as the Johan Cruyff ArenA, Ajax announced late Tuesday after talks with the team, the stadium’s board and the city’s mayor and officials.

“The three sides want to pay worthy tribute to best footballer that Amsterdam and The Netherlands have ever known,” the team said in a statement on what would have been Cruyff’s 70th birthday.

Cruyff died aged 68 on March 24, 2016, after a brief struggle with cancer, triggering global mourning for a man recognised as leaving a huge footballing legacy.

He was “famous across the world for his contribution to football as a player, a football coach and a benefactor”, the Ajax statement added.

His son, Jordi Cruyff, praised the decision in a message on Twitter.

“We’re very happy with this tribute to my father. Thanks to all those who made it possible, particularly Mayor (Eberhard) Van der Laan.”

Having led Ajax to the European Cup three times in 1971, 1972 and 1973, Cruyff also took the Netherlands to the 1974 World Cup final where despite losing 2-1 the Dutch won admirers the world over.
On last month’s anniversary of his death, Barcelona, where Cruyff was both a player and a coach, announced that a new stadium for the Barca B team will be named after him.

A statue of him will also be constructed at the club’s Camp Nou stadium.

Cruyff was one of Barcelona’s greatest ever players and coaches, winning 13 trophies in all including the club’s first ever European Cup as coach in 1992.

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