ZURICH: Gianni Infantino, new president of world football federation FIFA, led the flood of tributes which poured in from all over the football world to Johan Cruyff after his death at 68.
Infantino, former general secretary of European governing body UEFA, said: “Johan Cruyff was a magnificent player, one of the greatest players the world has ever known. A symbol of elegant play. An inspiration. A source of admiration for fans.
“He has marked football history for ever. I’m very saddened by his death. He will be terribly missed. Both personally and on behalf of FIFA and the world football community, I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”
Friday’s friendly between Holland and France will be halted in the 14th minute for a minute’s silence in memory of Cruyff who made the shirt number famous.
Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands: He enriched football and gave it a new face. He was a Dutch icon. Johan Cruyff belonged to all of us.
KNVB (Dutch federation): It is with great sadness that we’ve learnt of the death of Johan Cruyff. Words cannot express the loss we feel. #14
Ajax: Johan Cruyff has passed away today at age 68. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones.
FC Barcelona: We’ll always love you, Johan. Rest in peace.
Spanish league: La Liga mourns the passing of Johan Cruyff and sends its condolences to his relatives and to the Barca family.
The FA: We are saddened to hear of Johan Cruyff’s passing. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
Scottish FA: Scottish football today mourns the passing of a true football icon, Johan Cruyff.
Sir Bobby Charlton: I was proud to have known Johan. He was one of those great, great footballers that made you excited whenever he got the ball and began to play. There was always expectation in the crowd when Johan was on the pitch. There wasn’t a negative thought in his head. He loved the game, he loved sport and he loved life.
Ronald Koeman: Deeply saddened by the death of my best coach and best friend. Thanks for everything. Forever in our heart.
Diego Maradona: We will never forget you, skinny.
Franz Beckenbauer: I am shocked. Johan Cruyff is dead. He was not only a very good friend but also a brother to me.
Pep Guardiola: Johan Cruyff painted the chapel, and Barcelona coaches since merely restore or improve it.
Romario: He was, without a doubt, the best coach I ever had. His lessons will be eternal in my life
Ruud Gullit: Thank you Johan for being my biggest inspiration and teacher. Thank you for paving the way for our generation and for putting the Netherlands on the map. Thank you for being you. RIP
Jordi Cruyff: There are times when you’re young, you see everybody coming up to your father and you don’t know why. Of course now I look back and see what an amazing legend he is. They admire him, they respect him, they love him. It gives me a super-proud feeling.
Lionel Messi: Another legend has left us today.
Louis van Gaal: It is a very sad day for the footballing world; to lose one of the true legends of the game. My thoughts are with Johan’s family at this difficult time.
Roy Hodgson: I’m extremely saddened. I think the world of football has lost one of the true legends of the game, both as a player and as a coach. His achievements were second to none, and also as a man and a person.
Ossie Ardiles: Johan Cruyff. Extraordinary player. One of the best ever. Had the privilege to play with him twice.
Jurgen Klinsmann: Very sad news about the death of legend Johan Cruyff. What an amazing player, coach, teacher and person he was.
Luis Figo: My first coach overseas, one of the best coaches I ever had. A very important man in my career. We had a great loss.
Patrick Kluivert: YOU were too great to ever be forgotten . . . R.I.P. Johan Cruijff My sincere condolences to the family Cruyff
Ronald de Boer: You get shock, goosebumps and tears in your eyes. It’s something that you can’t think of that he is not with us anymore.
Dennis Roach, former agent: He was tremendous. We had great times, he was very quick at taking the mickey. We had a good laugh. Cruyff at the time was exceptional.
Ruud van Nistelrooy: RIP Johan Cruijff…Thanks for everything you gave us, on and of the pitch.
Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barcelona president: As a player, as a coach, you changed the history of our club. Thank you, Johan.
Michel Platini: Johan was my childhood hero, my idol and my friend.
Luis Suarez: We’ve lost our best-ever footballer, our Number 14, our greatest football friend.
Xabi Alonso: The ’14’ will never be the same. RIP Johan Cruyff
Fernando Torres: Let’s say goodbye to a football legend. A man above colours. Cruyff RIP
Alessandro Del Piero: Thank you genius.
Ronaldinho: Today we regret the death of the great leader Johan Cruyff. My feelings to the family of this eternal legend.
Vincent Kompany: RIP Johan Cruyff. True football royalty. I don’t think anyone has ever influenced the game as much as he has done.
Glenn Hoddle: Very sad to hear the news of Johan Cruyff, fantastic player and a sad loss to the football world. My condolences to his family
Gary Lineker: Sad to hear that Johan Cruyff has died. Football has lost a man who did more to make the beautiful game beautiful than anyone in history.
Sergio Ramos: Goodbye to one of the all-time legends of football. Player and coach ahead of his time. RIP Johan Cruyff.