This just in: Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest soccer players of his generation, is still very much alive.
This news may have come as a surprise to readers of the Dutch newspaper Volksrant, which published out a story headlined “Johan Cruyff deceased” while testing out a new app. The news quickly spread on social media — “there was a shudder on Twitter and throughout the country,” one Dutch blog wrote — before the story was taken down.
The paper’s editor, Philippe Remarque, called it a “stupid mistake”, and apologised to Cruyff, the former Ajax and Holland forward and manager of Barcelona.
“On behalf of Volkskrant I offer my apologies to Johan Cruyff and anyone who has been upset by this,” he said. “The app was tested this morning with fake stories, and a technician came up with this as a way of testing a major breaking news story. By mistake it appeared with this headline.”
The paper tweeted: “Due to an error on our new test site, we accidentally published a message about the death of Johan Cruyff. We’re sorry.”
Cryuff, 67, won the Ballon d’Or, given to the best player in European football, three times while playing for Ajax and Barcelona in the 1970s and led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 1974.