Sant Joan Despi (Spain): FC Barcelona have began construction of the Johan Cruyff Stadium at the Catalan football club’s training complex here in northeastern Spain.
Barçelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu on Thursday took part in the event alongside first-team members Andres Iniesta and Gerard Deulofeu and Cruyff’s widow, Dani, among other family members.
“This event is full of symbolism for us. We have chosen this date because the numbers ’14’ and ‘9’ are linked to Johan Cruyff’s playing career,” Bartomeu said.
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“The Masia players will be able to look out the window at the Stadium where their dreams can come true,” he added about the $14.26 million, 6,000-seat stadium.
The club in a statement said, “The new stadium will be the home of Barça B, the Barça Women’s team and the Under-19 team for Youth League matches, but it will also be where the academy players of the squad will wrap up their training as they dream of making the leap to the Camp Nou.”
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Cruyff (1947-2016), who was part of title-winning sides both at Amsterdam’s AFC Ajax and Barcelona, won the Ballon d’Or three times and led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 1974.
He went on to coach both Ajax and Barcelona. The Catalan club won 11 titles during Cruyff’s 1988-1996 tenure.
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