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Ajax to rename Amsterdam ArenA after legend Cruyff

Dutch Eredivisie football team Ajax has revealed that will rename its Amsterdam ArenA home stadium after club legend Johan Cruyff.

From the start of the 2018-19 season, the venue will officially be known as the Johan Cruyff ArenA.

A new logo will be installed on the stadium on April 25, which would’ve been Cruyff’s 71st birthday. Cruyff passed away in March 2016 after losing a battle with cancer.

Speaking in an official statement, Cruyff’s family said: “We are happy with this news, and that the moment the stadium will officially become the Johan Cruyff ArenA really has arrived.”

Edwin van der Sar, former goalkeeper for Ajax and now chief executive of the club, added: “Johan Cruyff is the greatest footballer in the history of Ajax. He has helped Ajax become a big name both nationally and internationally. Wonderful to have the stadium named after him.”

Cruyff made his debut for Ajax in November 1964, scoring the only goal in a 3-1 defeat against GVAV. He made a total of 240 senior appearances and scored 190 goals for the team before joining Spanish LaLiga giant Barcelona in 1973.

During his time with Barca, he scored 143 goals in 143 games, before moving to the US in 1980 for spells with the Los Angeles Aztecs and Washington Diplomats.

Cruyff moved back to Spain in 1981 to play for Levante, before returning to his native Netherlands for a second spell with Ajax. He finished his player career with fellow Dutch side Feyenoord.

In addition, Cruyff made 48 appearances for the Dutch national team, scoring 33 goals in the process.

Cruyff cemented his place in football folklore with the invention of the ‘Cruyff Turn’, a move that has been replicated by players around the world and still a popular move used by footballers today.

Image: Scottbri90