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Piet Keizer (1943–2017)

by Legacy Staff

International soccer star played for Ajax Amsterdam.

Piet Keizer, a left winger for Ajax Amsterdam during the “Total Football” era, died Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, according to The Associated Press. He was 73.

Alongside legendary teammate Johan Cruyff, Keizer helped to lead the scoring attack for an Ajax Amsterdam team that won three straight European Cup titles in the early 1970s. He played his entire career for Ajax, from 1961 to 1974, appearing in 365 games and scoring 146 goals.


“With the death of Piet, we lose one of the greatest Ajax players of all time,” said former Ajax and Netherlands goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar in a statement for the team. “He won everything there was to win and played a significant role in all those national and international prizes.”

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The Ajax Amsterdam teams of the 1970s epitomized the Total Football style of play, in which players did not have strictly defined roles and would change positions as the game developed.

Former teammate Johan Cruyff, who died in 2016, placed Keizer at left wing on his ideal team in his autobiography. A lively debate about whether Keizer or Cruyff was the greatest of all time remains among Ajax Amsterdam fans.

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