Video tribute: Former LA Aztecs NASL MVP, Dutch Total Football maestro Johan Cruyff dies age 68

FILE - In This June 19, 1974 file photo, Netherlands Johan Cruyff, left, dodges the tackle from Sweden's Kent Karlsson during a World Cup soccer match  in Dortmund, Germany. Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyff, who revolutionized the game with the concept of 'Total Football,' died Thursday March 24, 2016. He was 68. (AP Photo/File)

FILE – In This June 19, 1974 file photo, Netherlands Johan Cruyff, left, dodges the tackle from Sweden’s Kent Karlsson during a World Cup soccer match in Dortmund, Germany. Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyff, who revolutionized the game with the concept of ‘Total Football,’ died Thursday March 24, 2016. He was 68. (AP Photo/File)

Johann Cruyff, who spent one season with the North American Soccer League’s LA Aztecs in 1979, and was known as the star of perhaps the best national team never to win a World Cup in the 1970s — the Netherlands — has died at age 68.

A heavy smoker in his younger days, Cruyff lost a long battle against lung cancer.

Aztecs attendance peaked during Cruyff’s long year with the club, according to the Aztecs Wikipedia entry.

Cruyff was part of the versatile Dutch team that prompted the term total football, such was their silky teamwork, and starred for manager Rinus Michels in a starting XI that included such greats as Johan Neeskens (his son, John Neeskens, just joined LA Galaxy II) Johnny Rep and Rob Rensenbrink.

He also played a major role as a Barcelona player and coach in making the club what it is today

Tributes, reaction and video after the jump.

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