The football world has been lining up to pay their respects to the great Johan Cruyff who sadly lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 68.
The Dutch legend influenced the modern game like no other and was the inspiration to countless fans and professional players.
Of these, numerous playmakers – past and present – who either played with, against, were coached by the man himself or his methods, or simply enjoyed his ideologies on the way the game should be played and the creativity he brought, shared their reactions on hearing the news.
Arguably the greatest Number 10 ever, Diego Maradona, said:
We’ll never forget you, Flaco.
Those who subsequently inherited Diego’s Barcelona shirt number also left messages. Ronaldinho stated:
Today we regret the death of the great leader Johan Cruyff. My feelings to the family of this eternal legend.
Whilst countryman Rivaldo wrote on his Instagram page:
Very sad day for the world sport, Johan Cruyff will always be remembered by all of us and especially for those who love sport.
Current Barca Number 10 Lionel Messi simply wrote:
Another legend has left us today.
Messi’s club-mate and fellow creator Andres Iniesta, who came through the youth ranks at Barca’s cantera which imparted Cruyff’s vision and philosophy on those in attendance, stated:
A sad day. A legend and a key person for Barca and football goes. My deepest condolences to the family.
Whilst two other Spanish playmakers paid their respects on Twitter – David Silva posting:
An idol, history, a legend goes,
and Sergio Canales writing:
Reference for all those who love this sport. A legend. Thanks Johan Cruyff.
Two playmakers from Cuyff’s first club Ajax, also left their condolences, with Wesley Sneijder writing:
A legend has passed away. My deepest respect. I am grateful for the inspiration he gave me.
And Christian Eriksen saying:
R.I.P Johan Cruyff! #Legend
Alessandro Del Piero possibly summed up the thoughts of everyone in the football word best by succinctly posting:
Thank you genius