Marco van Basten has described former Ajax and Netherlands coach Rinus Michels, who died earlier today, as the “father of Dutch football”.

Michels will be remembered as the architect of total football and Van Basten said his death on Thursday was an enormous loss to the game

Now coach of the Dutch national team, Van Basten played under Michels when Holland won the 1988 European championship.

“The passing away of the grand old man of the training camp, the father of Dutch football, is an enormous loss for the football world,” Van Basten said in a statement released by the Dutch football association (KNVB).

“Michels was someone who had all the qualities of a top coach.”

Michels, who also led the Netherlands to the 1974 World Cup final, died in a Belgian hospital on Thursday morning.