Football

Dutch legend Cruyff has lung cancer

Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer, according to media reports from Spain.

Radio station RAC1 and newspaper Mundo Deportivo have both reported that the ex-Barcelona great received the news on Tuesday (Oct 20) and is being tested to determine the severity of his illness.

Cruyff's spokesman is expected to release an official statement on the Dutchman's condition on Thursday (Oct 22).

The 68-year-old is considered as one of the Beautiful Game's all-time greats and was thrice crowned European Footballer of the Year in 1971, 1973 and 1974.

A product of Ajax Amsterdam's legendary academy, Cruyff rose through the club's ranks and helped them to three consecutive European Cup wins in 1971, 1972 and 1973, before moving on to Barcelona.

He had an instant impact with the Catalans as he was the catalyst that led the club to their La Liga title since 1960.

Cruyff would later reach the 1974 World Cup final with the Oranje under Rinus Michels' Total Football philosophy, only to lose out 1-2 to hosts West Germany.

In 1999, he was voted European Player of the Century.

When his playing career ended, Cruyff returned to Ajax as manager before taking on the reins of Barcelona, where he guided them to four La Liga titles, one European Cup and a European Cup Winners' Cup.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian

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