One of the greatest footballers of all time, Johan Cruyff has passed away today at the age of 68.
When I was eight years of age, my football heroes were Pele, Bobby Moore and Johan Cruyff and when my family decided to get two tortoises as pets, I was the one who was chosen to name them and Pele and Cruyff became part of our family.
About twelve years later, I was playing for Tottenham against Feyenoord in a UEFA Cup game and I was up against Johan Cruyff, unfortunately for me, he was not as slow as my tortoise and even though he was in the latter stages of his illustrious career, his silky touches and sublime qualities as a footballer still shone through.
Johan was the maestro of the amazing 1974 Dutch national team, conducting them all the way to the World Cup final, where they were beaten by West Germany 2-1
He won three consecutive European Cups with Ajax from 1971, coached Barcelona to their first European Cup triumph in 1992 and European footballer of the year three times.
I have the wonderful memory of once gracing the same football pitch as Johan Cruyff.