memorial johan cruyff nit

The Johan Cruyff Memorial was open from Saturday to Tuesday / GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

Gràcies, Johan. That is the message that has been expressed by the 60,525 supporters that have come to the Camp Nou from Saturday to Tuesday, when the doors finally closed to the Johan Cruyff Memorial in honour of the legendary Barça player and manager who died last March 24 at the age of 68.

These have been emotionally charged days. From the moment that the news was announced, the sports world has been expressing its condolences, as well as its very highest regards for the great Dutchman. One of the earliest reactions was the open letter from all of the former presidents of FC Barcelona, published just hours after the Cruyff family announced the tragic news.

In this message, Agustí Montal, Raimon Carrasco, Josep Lluís Núñez, Joan Gaspart, Enric Reyna, Joan Laporta, Sandro Rosell and Josep Maria Bartomeu honoured Cruyff as “one of the greatest players and managers of all time” and recognised “the enormous professional and human mark that he has made on the club.” All of them will be attending the Clásico on Saturday to pay homage to the Flying Dutchman.

Social networks and the world press have also been packed with tributes, obituaries and special reports about the late, great number 14.  Authorities and personalities from all walks of life have come to the Camp Nou to pay their respects after learning of the news, as well as the members of his famous Dream Team of the nineties, and all of the professional sports team at FC Barcelona, and the different youth and women’s football teams. The occasion has also drawn representatives of some of FC Barcelona’s biggest rivals to come to the stadium and pay homage to someone whose influence stretched way beyond Barça, including the current Espanyol manager Constantin Galca and Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez.

Gràcies, Johan has been the unanimous message over the last few days. Without colours or flags, just eternal and global gratitude in memory of a magnificent footballer and a man who revolutionised football management. The man who created the Dream Team, a footballing masterpiece that was way ahead of its time, and whose greatest legacy was surely the way he put Barça right at the top of world football following his return to the club in 1988.

Johan has departed, but his memory shall live forever at the Camp Nou. Gràcies, Johan.

Fans’ tributes at last farewell to Johan Cruyff por fcbarcelona
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