Dutch soccer legend, Johan Cruyff attending the Cruyff Court Final soccer tournament in Amsterdam, Netherlands on May 18, 2013.
Koen Van Weel—EPA
March 24, 2016 9:02 AM EDT

Dutch soccer star Johan Cruyff died in Barcelona Thursday after being diagnosed with lung cancer last year, according to a statement posted to his website.

Cruyff, who played for the Dutch team Ajax and later Barcelona during the height of his career, was widely thought to be one of the greatest players in the sport’s history. He reached the finals in the 1974 World Cup as a member of the Dutch national team and received the Golden Ball award for the best player during the contest. He later returned to Barcelona after a brief stint playing soccer in the U.S. as the team’s manager in 1988.

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Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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