A legend in the footballing world, and considered by many the inventor of modern football, Johan Cruyff passed away at the age of 68. He had been suffering from lung Cancer for a while.

His official website announced his demise on Thursday.

Cruyff won the prestiguous Ballon d’Or three times, in 1971, 73 and 74. 

The one-time chain smoker passed away peacefully amongst his family members on March 24.

His brilliant football skills lit up the 1970 World Cup, as under his captaincy the free-flowing Dutch national team reached the finals, only to lose to a well drilled West German side.

Playing for European giants such as Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona during a glittering playing career, the midfielder lit up the football pitch with some sensational displays.

Despite being a legend at Ajax, his performances for Barcelona are the ones that still talked about, destroying arch-rivals Real Madrid on many occasions.

He was an outspoken critic of managers who favoured defensive football, insisting that attractive football can bring desired results.

In February, he had publicly said about his fight with Cancer “Right now, I have the feeling that I am 2-0 up in the first half of a match that has not finished yet. But I am sure that I will end up winning.”

A success in management, he won 11 trophies during his time at Barcelona, becoming the most successful manager for the Catalan side, before being overtaken by Pep Guardiola recently.

His invention of ‘Total Football’ is used by most modern teams today, wherein no player has a completely fixed role, being encouraged to both attack and defend with vigour.