Just spotted this on the BBC. There are not many in the football world whose name automatically conjures up the word 'legend', but Johan Cruyff, whose death from cancer (the guy was a chain smoker in his younger days) at the age of 68 has just been reported, can rightly be said to have been one of the few, genuinely footballing greats. Those who remember how he graced the football field will recall him as an outstanding player with Ajax, - he led them to three consecutive European Cups between 1971 and 1973 - and later with the legendary (that word again) Dutch football team which reached the final of the World Cup in 1974, playing 'total football' but losing (some thought unfairly) 2-1 to what was then West Germany. But there are many very good, even exceptionally good, players. Johan Cruyff went much further than that, for, both as a footballer - and later, as a superb player and later still outstanding coach with Barcelona, (he led them to a European Cup win, too, in 1992) he embodied and practiced the philosophy of his mentor, Rinus Michals, - a philosophy that became known as 'Total Football', a philosophy that encouraged the emergence of a thinking player, equally comfortable with all positions and all roles on the pitch. This was a philosophy that Cryuff embodied on the pitch, and later, as a coach, with great success in the dressing room. He also believed in stuff such as youth academies, allowing players to take responsibility on the pitch, one to one individually tailored training, and intelligence and idealism on the field and off. Cryuff was a thoughtful, intelligent and idealistic man, articulate in interviews, inspirational as a coach, unforgettable as a player. Ethics informed his philosophy, too, and he believed - passionately - in giving something back. And he was subtle, and respectful of other cultures, and well knew the power of knowing the right thing to do in a given place and time: For example, while managing Barcelona, he gave his new born son the name of Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia, a gesture received with passionate fervour and boundless gratitude by the citizens of Barcelona and Catalonia. A class act as a human being, citizen, coach and a true legend in football. RIP Mr Cruyff.