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Michel Platini presents UEFA President’s Award to Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff

UEFA President Michel Platini will present the prestigious UEFA President’s Award 2013 to Johan Cruyff, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to European football. The presentation will take place today at the Amsterdam Arena, in parallel with the Dutch Eredivisie match between AFC Ajax and SC Heerenveen.

The UEFA President’s Award was introduced in 1998 to acknowledge the achievements of an elite group of personalities in European football. The objective of this award is to focus on the true protagonists – the players, and the invaluable contribution that they have made through their careers to the development and success of football in Europe and beyond.

Since 2008 – when Michel Platini presented his first UEFA President’s Award – the honour has been bestowed upon players who have also won the prestigious award of European Footballer of the Year – Alfredo Di Stéfano, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eusébio, Raymond Kopa, Gianni Rivera and Franz Beckenbauer. Johan Cruyff, a European Footballer of the Year in 1971, 1973 and 1974, is now added to this illustrious list.

Commenting on presenting the UEFA President’s Award 2013 to the Dutch legend and one of the world’s all-time greatest players, Michel Platini said:
“It is a great privilege for me to present the UEFA President’s Award to Johan Cruyff, one of the truly great footballers and ambassadors for the game. First as a player and then as a coach, Johan Cruyff was committed to entertaining the public with his own unique brand of football. A phenomenal footballer who enthralled fans across the world with his grace and style, football has been his life, from his early years with AFC Ajax to his later success with FC Barcelona and his memorable contributions to the Dutch national team. Johan Cruyff’s social conscience is today reflected in the education of athletes through the Cruyff Institute and numerous projects adopted by his own foundation across the world for poor and disabled children – using football as a means of improving their lives.”

Ahead of receiving the award, Johan Cruyff said:
“It is a great honour for me to receive this award and to be part of this illustrious list of names. I would like to share this recognition with all of the people I have worked with, and am still working with, who love the game of football and are willing to invest time and energy in making it better. Not only the game itself, but also the organisation around it, and the important role that football has in society.”