Cruyff a 'unique' figure in football - Blatter

Sepp Blatter (AFP)
Sepp Blatter (AFP)

Lausanne - Johan Cruyff was a "unique" figure in world football, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter told AFP after the death Thursday of the Dutch legend from lung cancer at the age of 68.

"Johan Cruyff gave football a unique touch that some try to copy, like the current Bayern Munich coach (Pep Guardiola) who as a player at Barcelona was influenced by Cruyff's game," said Blatter, who is serving a six-year ban from all football activities over a suspect $2 million dollar payment to UEFA boss Michel Platini.

"I'm very moved. He was an extraordinary personality who, along with Rinus Michels, kicked off total football.

"Football will miss Cruyff."

Blatter added: "He was an extraordinary person in the sense that he wasn't one of those people you can compare to in current football.

"He had an idea in his head, he was tenacious and and he succeeded in taking along those with whom he played because he was carrying through his ideas to the end.

"I knew him as a player and again as a Barcelona coach. We had good contacts. He was a man who had a special aura, even at times a little cold. Then we worked together for his foundation which helps handicapped and deprived children."

Blatter said he was "sad that football has lost such a person".

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