FC Barcelona have released an official statement revealing its plans to to pay tribute to club legend Johan Cruyff, who passed away after losing a battle with lung cancer at the age of 68 last week.
Dutch maestro Johan Cruyff is widely regarded as the one of the greatest players to have ever graced the football field. In a career which saw him represent the Dutch National team and European powerhouses like Ajax and Barcelona, Cruyff won numerous titles with both clubs as a player and as a manager.
A revered figure in Catalonia, Cruyff’s greatest contribution to Barcelona was his incorporation of the ‘Total Football’ philosophy into the very fabric of the club. Cruyff emphasized a common style of play across all the levels of FC Barcelona, making its academy arguably the best in the world. The fruits of Cruyff’s labour and the embodiment of his vision can be seen in players like Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Carles Puyol and a certain Lionel Messi.
FC Barcelona set to honour Cruyff during El Clasico
The official statement on Barcelona’s website revealed the club’s plans to honour the legendary Dutchman’s contribution to the club during Saturday night’s El Clasico. A part of the statement read:
“A mosaic of 90,000 cards shall bear the message ‘Gracies Johan,’ which shall be repeated on the shirts of the Barca players, where the world champions logo normally features.
“Both teams will enter the field with children wearing shirts with the same message, ‘Gracies Johan,’ as well as the names of the Cruyff and FC Barcelona Foundations on the back.
“The match will also be attended by all of the living former presidents of the Catalan club, namely Agusti Montal, Raimon Carrasco, Josep Lluis Nunez, Joan Gaspart, Enric Reyna, Joan Laporta, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu.
“The game will also be preceded by a minute’s silence in honour of Johan Cruyff, including the projection of a video tribute to the great man’s career.”
The Blaugrana play their first match since the passing of Cruyff against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on Saturday. With the Camp Nou gearing up for an emotional Clasico on Saturday night, the Catalan Giants will look to honour the legacy of the legendary Dutchman by overcoming the challenge of their arch rivals.