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‘Cruyff was the James Dean of football’

Arsene Wenger has described Johan Cruyff as “the James Dean of football”.

The legendary Dutch player and manager passed away last week, after an incredible career that spanned more than four decades at the highest level.

"I saw him playing against us at Strasbourg and he was eating a sandwich before the game, then he would go on the pitch and be the best player."

Arsene Wenger

Wenger was a huge admirer of Cruyff for what he did on and off the pitch, and says his legacy will last forever.

“He was one of my idols when I was a kid because he was not much older than I was and did a lot of things on the pitch that I couldn’t do!” the manager told Arsenal Player.

“He was a kind of James Dean of football at the time - he smoked and played. I saw him playing against us at Strasbourg and he was eating a sandwich before the game, then he would go on the pitch and be the best player.

“He had that kind of expression of freedom in the way he behaved and that strength of personality was absolutely exceptional in that period.

“He was the kind of exceptional personality that marked me and all my generation. The other day Michel Platini was speaking about him and he had exactly the same impression.”

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