Football: Cruyff to be cremated in Barcelona - report

Dutch newspapers with front-page tributes to late Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff  on March 25, 2016.
Dutch newspapers with front-page tributes to late Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff on March 25, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

AMSTERDAM (AFP) - 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 honour of his life. However, it's important to mention that none of them are memorials organised 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.