Ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon has joined the ranks of those paying tribute to the late Johan Cruyff by calling the former Barcelona man a ‘visionary and an innovator’.
Cryuff, who played for and managed Los Cules winning La Liga and the European Cup, passed away on Thursday at the age of 68 after a battle with lung cancer. The mercurial midfielder had an outstanding career with Ajax and Barcelona and won the World Footballer of the Year award three times.
He was also part of the Dutch side to reach the 1974 World Cup final only to lose out to West Germany 2-1.
Writing in his Newsweek column, Calderon, who was president of Los Blancos between 2006 and 2009, said: “He can be seen as a revolutionary, a dreamer, a visionary, and an innovator who changed the idea of a game in which strength was the primary consideration to another one based, and focused, on ability and technique, giving birth to what has been called “tiki-taka.” He used to say that football should be played with the brain.”
And he continued: “A legend has gone but he has left an important legacy. As Pep Guardiola said: ‘Cruyff painted the chapel and, after him, the coaches simply have restored or improved it.'”