There was a special posthumous Laureus Spirit of Sport Award to celebrate the life of Johan Cruyff, who died in March. It was received by his son Jordi Cruyff.
Cruyff was the genius behind Total Football. A colossus of the game, he dominated European and world football in the 1970s and was seen by many as the natural successor to Pele.
In recent years, Cruyff has spent considerable time helping to develop sports-based projects for underprivileged children around the world. Cruyff sees many similarities between sport and society as a whole. In 1997 he founded the Johan Cruyff Foundation. Projects funded by the Foundation must have as a primary objective the enhancement of the mental and physical well-being of children by means of sports, physical exercise, games and recreational activities. Preference is given to projects for underprivileged and handicapped children.