It is official, from next season the Amsterdam ArenA will be known as the Johan Cruyff ArenA in tribute to the late Dutchman.
The decision has been made after discussions between the club and local authority that share ownership of the venue.
On April 25th, when Cruyff would have turned 71, the club plans to unveil a new crest for the Stadium.
The Netherlands star made 240 appearances for Ajax, scoring 190 goals.
Club CEO Edwin van der Sar has spoken about the plans to rename the stadium.
“Johan Cruyff is the greatest football player Ajax have produced. Partly thanks to him, Ajax are a big name, at home and abroad.
It’s nice that the stadium is named after him.”
Cruyff’s family added in a statement:
“We’re pleased with this news, and that the stadium can now officially be called the Johan Cruyff ArenA from the new football season.”
During his time at Ajax, Cruyff won many accolades, helping the side to eight Eredivisie titles and three consecutive European Cups.
The Dutchman signed for Ajax at age 10 and played for the side during Ajax’s golden years of total football.
He made his first-team debut in 1964 and really established himself as a regular in the 1965/66 season.
With many a famous quote to his name, none is more prominent with this decision than Cruyff describing himself as immortal. He will live on in the memory of Ajax fans.
Cruyff once said:
“In a way I’m probably immortal.
Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is.
Technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practising. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate.”
Since his passing in 2016, Ajax have tried hard to keep the legacy of this revolutionary player going, with the ground being unofficially named the Johan Cruyff ArenA already for quite some time.
Now the news is definite though and the memory of Cruyff can live on in Ajax, being officially named from the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign.
Fans will be hoping the team can enjoy great success at a stadium named after such a footballing icon.