Crowds have lined up all day to pay their respects to Johan Cruyff / FCB

Representatives of FC Barcelona and the football world have converged at the Camp Nou today to pay their last respects to Johan Cruyff, the legendary player and manager who died on Thursday at the age of 68.

The club opened a memorial space on its premises at 10.00am CET and by the time the gates had closed nine hours later, 15,158 people had come to express their condolences for a man who played such a huge role in making FC Barcelona the team it is today.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu gave the inaugural speech, saying that “these are very sad days for Barça and in accordance with the family’s wishes, this space will remain open until Tuesday.”

He was joined by the president of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, who said that "Johan’s contributions to our view of the world and the future reach far beyond football. In golden letters, all we can say is THANK YOU.”

Other political figures that attended the memorial included former Catalan president Artur Mas, who commented that "Cruyff was a master of football, a Catalan by conviction and a carrier of positive energy.”

Jaume Asens Andreu Subies, president of the Catalan Football Federation said that "Cruyff has left a legacy that shall persist for many more years in the philosophy of our football,” while Pati Roura, representing the Johan Cruyff Foundation, said that "these are difficult times, but we shall continue with the same work that started 20 years ago: to help disabled children through sport. Johan will be watching us and will be happy to know that we are still here.”

A number of other clubs from all around Spain laid rivalries aside for a day and came to show their respect for somebody who had such a huge impact on the game in this country.

Constantin Galca, manager of RCD Espanyol, said that "Cruyff reinvented modern football, he will always be in our thoughts,” while José Ramón Alexanko, the director of the Valencia academy and a former FCB player was joined by Valencia councillor Juan Cruz Sol.

President Florentino Pérez and director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueño attended the memorial in the name of Real Madrid, the former commenting that “Cruyff changed the history not just of Barça, but of the footballing world. He is one of those people whose name shall last forever.”

Johan Cruyff Memorial at Camp Nou by fcbarcelona
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