Holland to follow Feyenoord's lead with Johan Cruyff tribute

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Johan Cruyff's ability to transcend football's tribal boundaries were evident in Rotterdam on Thursday night where fans of his final club Feyenoord paid tribute to the Dutch great, who has lost his battle against lung cancer.

A charity match between Feyenoord - for whom Cruyff played in the 1983-4 season, helping them to a league and cup double - and Sparta Rotterdam was temporarily halted in the 14th minute so players and fans could recognise his passing with a minute's applause.

Cruyff made his name with Feyenoord's fierce rivals Ajax but his loss to the whole of Dutch football is clearly keenly felt with the Rotterdam club saying on their website: " Feyenoord shares in this great loss and the club offers its sincerest condolences to Johan Cruyff's family."

There will also be a pause in the 14th minute of Holland's friendly against France in Amsterdam on Friday night. Cruyff wore the number 14 shirt for his country and guided them to the final of the World Cup in 1974.

And the tributes are set to continue for Cruyff, with Dutch Football Association (KNVB) president Michael van Praag saying: "I can't wait for the moment when we rename our stadium the Johan Cruyff Arena. It's the best tribute we can pay him."

A three-time Ballon d'Or winner, Cruyff helped Ajax to eight Dutch titles and three successive European Cups before following manager Rinus Michels to the Nou Camp and winning the Primera Division in his first season.

Cruyff became synonymous with 'Total Football' and returned to Holland to finish his playing days, with the sought-after football thinker again swapping Amsterdam for Catalonia after retirement.

He led Barca to four league titles and their first European Cup in 1992 - a period in which he underwent major heart surgery, which prompted him to stop smoking.

Cruyff was sacked in 1996 but remained influential at the Nou Camp for the rest of his life, with son Jordi playing at the club for a time.

Barcelona posted on Instagram: " We'll always love you, Johan. Rest in peace", with a fuller statement paying tribute to a " player and a coach who will forever be a legend at the club".

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