​Netherlands and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has died at the age of 68 after a 'hard-fought battle' against cancer. 

The Dutchman is widely considered to be one of the greatest players to ever play the game, winning three Ballon d'Or awards and leading his Dutch team to the World Cup final in 1974 after winning three consecutive European Cups with Ajax from '71 to '73. 

​statement on his website said: "On March 24 2016 Johan Cruyff (68) died peacefully in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer. It’s with great sadness that we ask you to respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Cruyff had appeared positive in a statement released in February, saying: “After several medical treatments I can say that the results have been very positive, thanks to the excellent work of the doctors, the affection of the people and my positive mentality.

“Right now, I have the feeling that I am 2-0 up in the first half of a match that has not finished yet. But I am sure that I will end up winning.”

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West German goalkeeper Sepp Maier catches the ball