Dutch legend Johan Cruyff dies after cancer battle

He has widely been hailed as one of football's greatest ever players

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Picture by: Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport

Johan Cruyff, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of the 20th century has died, aged 68.

The Dutch star was known worldwide for his attacking skill, although his greatest gift to the world was what became known as "the Cruyff turn".

Cruyff had been battling battling lung cancer since October. Only last month, he revealed that the prognosis was good from his doctors.  "I can say the results have been very positive, thanks to the excellent work of the doctors, the affection of the people and my positive mentality."

The news was revealed on Cruyff's official website earlier this afternoon in a short statement. "On March 24 2016 Johan Cruyff (68) died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer. It’s with great sadness that we ask you to respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Cruyff is best remembered for his spells at Ajax, Barcelona and with the Dutch national team. He helped the Dutch side to the final of the 1974 World Cup before losing to West Germany in the final.

At club level, Cruyff was most successful as a player with Ajax where he won eight Eredivisie titles and three European Cups. As a manager, he led Barcelona to four La Liga titles and the team's first European Cup.

Regularly named in lists of the game's greatest player, Cruyff won the Ballon d'Or three times in a four year period between 1971 and 1974.