Barcelona, 24 March 2016
Thank you, Johan.
Johan Cruyff's death is sad news for the entire world of football. His individual and collective achievements made him one of the best players and coaches in history and the professional and personal footprint he left at our club is enormous. First and foremost, we want to convey our sincerest condolences to the Cruyff family and to all the Club's players and staff who, throughout his various stages as a player and coach, shared emotions, efforts and the joys of success.
On a day like today, every FC Barcelona fan will recall their own memories of and experiences relating to Cruyff as both a leader and as a symbol. We, as presidents of FC Barcelona, have the immense honour to give thanks, on behalf of Barcelona supporters everywhere, to a brilliant and audacious man who decisively marked the trajectory of the club.
We are thankful to Cruyff for his work as a player and as a coach, and for the titles he achieved. But above all, we are thankful for the intangibles which are still alive today and which will endure into the future, for they are worth more than all those titles; Cruyff endowed us with high levels of self-esteem and set a new course for the success of FC Barcelona.
With Cruyff we began to play differently, breaking new ground and innovating. With him, both as a player and coach, we established our own style on the field, what is traditionally known as 'total football,' the Barça style everyone admires.
The arrival of Cruyff altered the history of Barça. He contributed decisively to a change of mentality. He got us to keep our heads up and to see that no opponent was invincible, that we could attain what we were aiming for. Cruyff was an icon who explained, better than anyone, that Barça is more than a club. He did it simply and based in reality, and always moving forward.
Without Cruyff's unabashed and non-conformist spirit, we quite possibly wouldn't have become the greatest club in the world. So, again, thank you, Johan. Thanks to the man who was admired, thanks to the social icon, thanks to the football superstar. Thank you for your audacity, thank you for your expertise, and thank you for having chosen Barça and Barcelona in the same way that, for Barça and Catalonia, you have always been, and will always be, one of us.
Thank you, Johan.