Graham Hunter: Why Johan Cruyff ranks alongside the likes of Elvis and De Niro

Off The Ball's European football correspondent chats to Off The Ball about the legend that he knew

Johan Cruyff, Barcelona

Former soccer player Johan Cruyff from Holland, poses, during a premiere of The Last Match, a documentary about his 40 year soccer career, in Catalonia, Spain, Barcelona, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

The world of football lost one of its most unique figures today as Johan Cruyff passed away at the age of 68.

Off The Ball's European football correspondent Graham Hunter knew the Ajax, Barcelona and Netherlands legend personally and joined us on tonight's show to share his memories and insights.

He described Cruyff as the "single most important man football has ever produced", in terms of the playing ability, the other-worldly view of the game which was seen through his coaching and the influence his thinking had on the likes of Ajax and Barcelona to this day.

"I found him fun, generous, warm, intelligent," said Graham. 

"I've always thought that it would have been my absolute dream to be thought and educated in a sporting context by this man and I think he ranks beyond football. I think he ranks with Elvis, with George Best, with De Niro, with Lennon. I don't think we've lost the single most important football man, I think we've lost one of the great men of all-time."

Graham also detailed some of the aspects of Cruyff's career that captured his imagination.