Amsterdam ArenA renamed after Cruyff

- Agence France-Presse, The Hague

Apr 27, 2017-

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. 

Having led Ajax to the European Cup thrice 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. 

Published: 27-04-2017 09:54

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