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Soccer: Wim Suurbier, mainstay of Ajax, Dutch teams of 1970s, dies at 75

In this Feb. 21, 1974 file photo, the Dutch National team line up, who are to take part in the World Soccer Cup Final in West Germany in 1974, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The players are, standing, from left; Barry Hulshoff; Plot Schrijvers; Aad Mansveld; Wim Suurbier; Johan Neeskens and Ruud Krol. Foreground, from left; Arie Haan; Johan Cruyff; Gerry Muhren; Johrant Rep. and Rob Rensenbrink.(AP Photo)

BRUSSELS (AP) -- Wim Suurbier, the dependable right back of Ajax and Dutch national teams of the 1970s, has died, his former club announced Monday. He was 75.

    A trusted teammate of Johan Cruijff during many of his heroics, Suurbier never came close to having such sheer talent. But with his unlikely speed roaming the full length of the pitch, he became an early template of the current-day right back. He won three European Champions' Cups with Ajax and played in two World Cup finals with the national team, losing both.

    Ajax said on its web site that Suurbier was "the first modern back of the Netherlands." No cause of death was given.

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