Jordi Cruyff hails Johan as an immortal of football

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Jordi Cruyff has described his father, former Ajax and Netherlands star Johan, as a true legend of football.

The 68-year-old passed away in Barcelona on Thursday after a long battle with lung cancer, prompting an outpouring of tributes from clubs, and both current and former players.

Former Manchester United winger Jordi admits it was confusing as a child to understand the fame which surrounded his father, who won three consecutive European Cups with the Dutch giants in the 1970s.

But the 42-year-old, now a sporting director with Maccabi Tel Aviv, is proud of what he considers to be an "immortal" legacy created by his father within the game.

Speaking on March 18, he told Omnisport: "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.

"The ways he plays football, you still see a lot of football nowadays partly based on the idea he brought in 30 years ago as a coach. The national team was also known as the team of 'Total Football'. It's a legacy.

"In football, you have the mortals, which is 99.9 per cent, and the immortals, the small percentage who will always be remembered. He's a legend. I can only be proud of that."

After his remarkable spell with Ajax, Cruyff won the league title as a player with Barcelona before going on to claim four consecutive championships as a coach at Camp Nou in the 1990s.