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Ajax rename Amsterdam Arena to honour club legend Johan Cruyff

Today would have been his 70th birthday.

AJAX HAVE CONFIRMED that they are renaming their stadium after club legend Johan Cruyff.

Soccer - World Cup West Germany 1974 - Group A - Holland v Argentina Johan Cruyff. Source: EMPICS Sport

The Amsterdam ArenA will now be named the Johan Cruyff Arena in honour of the Ajax and Netherlands icon.

Since the former Dutch playmaker passed away, there has been talks of renaming the stadium, but today saw a concrete decision reached.

The club, and other parties involved, say they want to “pay a worthy tribute to the best footballer Amsterdam and the Netherlands have ever known.”

“The board of the Amsterdam Arena, the board of AFC Ajax and the Mayor and Aldermen Sports Participation of the Amsterdam municipality have agreed in a letter of intent to change the name of the Amsterdam ArenA in the Johan Cruyff Arena,” the club wrote in a statement on their website.

“Jordi Cruyff has stated that he was pleased and honored by the letter of intent to change the name on behalf of the family.

“Within six months, the agreement in a final contract is to be submitted to the council, the management and supervisory boards of the stadium and Ajax.”

Cruyff started his career with Ajax in 1964, and left for Barcelona in ’73, having a huge impact on both clubs. He also spent time playing in the US and Spain, before returning to the Amsterdam outfit for two seasons in 1981. He ended his playing career at Feyenoord.

During his time at Ajax, he was pivotal as the club won seven Dutch league titles, five Dutch cups, three European Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, an Intercontinental Cup and an Intertoto Cup.

Talisman of the great Netherlands team of the 1970s, he won the Ballon d’Or on three occassions and guided his country to the 1974 World Cup final.

As a manager, he guided Ajax to back-to-back league titles and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1987 before taking over at Barcelona for eight seasons.

Cruyff passed away last March at the age of 68, following a long battle with lung cancer.

Today, 25 April, is also a significant date for the announcement of the news, as it would have been Cruyff’s 70th birthday.

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Emma Duffy

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