Barcelona, Oct 24 : Thieves took items worth more than 500,000 euros ($648,000) from the Barcelona residence of soccer great Johan Cruyff, El Periodico newspaper said Tuesday.

The home was empty when the burglars entered, sometime after midnight Sunday, sources close to the investigation said.

The intruders took cash, gold watches and other jewellery, pens and some of the many trophies Cruyff won as a player and coach, the newspaper said.

The thieves climbed the wall that surrounds the home and forced their way inside via a balcony window, El Periodico said.

Cruyff, who led the 1974 Dutch national team that was dubbed "Clockwork Orange" for its precision style of soccer, played for FC Barcelona from 1973-78 and returned to the club a decade later as coach.

Under the Dutchman, the team won the Spanish league title in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994 and its first European championship in 1992.

The 65-year-old Cruyff now coaches Catalonia's soccer squad and is an adviser to clubs in the Netherlands and Mexico.


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