Dutch legend Johan Cruijff, on the day he would have turned 70, will forever be linked to his former club as Ajax’s home stadium, Amsterdam Arena, will be renamed in his honour.
An agreement was reached with Ajax, the stadium board and the Amsterdam city council to change the name of Amsterdam Arena to the Johan Cruijff Arena (using the Dutch spelling of his name).
According to Dutch broadcaster Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS) – the agreement announced yesterday is expected to be finalized within six months. The parties involved said in a joint statement that by changing the name, they want to “pay a worthy tribute to the best footballer Amsterdam and the Netherlands have ever known.”
The plan goes beyond the stadium, as there might be another major infrastructure such as a bridge or a street named after Cruijff. “We are convinced this will do justice to the legacy of Johan Cruijff and be a source of inspiration for football players all over the world.”
Thousands of people signed a petition after his death last March calling for the stadium name change. Their wishes have come true.
We are happy and proud that from now on it will be the #JohanCruijffArenA! #14forever #CruyffLegacy
More info: https://t.co/ob9BXyFMsr pic.twitter.com/pBxlrvyuh5
— Johan Cruyff (@JohanCruyff) April 25, 2017
We're very happy with this tribute to my father. Thanks to all those who made it possible, particularly Mayor Van der Laan. #CruyffLegacy pic.twitter.com/QI4z1WFvya
— Jordi Cruyff (@JordiCruyff) April 25, 2017
The best news today. The stadium #arena in #amsterdam will be called #JohancruijffArena pic.twitter.com/fS6AHlhYFz
— Ruud Gullit (@GullitR) April 25, 2017
Today, our greatest icon would have been 70 years.
Forever in our hearts, forever 14. ⚪️❤️⚪️#VoorAltijdNr14 pic.twitter.com/7PBbTY7VMM
— AFC Ajax (English) (@AFCAjax_EN) April 25, 2017