Ajax has unveiled the branding for its Johan Cruijff ArenA, which has been renamed in honour of the Dutch Eredivisie football club’s greatest player of all time.
Ajax first revealed that its Amsterdam ArenA home would be renamed earlier this month and an official ceremony to mark the occasion was held yesterday (Wednesday), the day Cruijff would have turned 71.
Cruijff passed away in March 2016 after losing a battle with cancer. He made his debut for Ajax in November 1964, scoring the only goal in a 3-1 defeat against GVAV. Cruijff 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.
Cruijff 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 playing career with fellow Dutch side Feyenoord. In addition, Cruijff made 48 appearances for the Dutch national team, scoring 33 goals in the process.
Cruijff cemented his place in football folklore with the invention of the ‘Cruijff Turn’, a move that has been replicated by players around the world and still a popular move used by footballers today.
The 54,000-capacity Johan Cruijff ArenA opened in August 1996.