Johan Cruyff has reportedly been diagnosed with lung cancer.
The news of a diagnosis of lung cancer was initially reported by Radio Catalunya. A Barcelona club spokesperson has told Goal the former player and coach is “seriously ill” but the club is yet to provide further details. A representative of Cruyff has told RTL that the three-time Ballon d’Or winner will provide a statement on Thursday.
At an unrelated media conference on Thursday, Barca vice president Susana Monje issued a message of support for Cruyff, while an official tweet from the club’s account suggested the diagnosis was correct, although there was no official word from Cruyff or his representatives.
“We give to Johan Cruyff [and] to his family and friends, a big hug,” Monje said. “We hope he recovers quickly.”
Cruyff, 68, is firmly established as one of the greats of the game following an esteemed career with the likes of Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands national team.
The stylish playmaker spent 11 years across two spells with Ajax, winning eight Eredivisie titles as well as the European Cup on three successive occasions in the early 1970s.
Cruyff lifted one La Liga title during a five-year stint at Barca, and, after a spell in charge of Ajax, he returned to Camp Nou to manage the Catalan giants, where he won four successive Liga crowns while also leading what became known as ‘The Dream Team’ to European glory for the first time in the club’s history in 1992.
A World Cup finalist in 1974, Cruyff was the main playing protagonist of the ‘Total Football’ style employed by both Ajax and the Dutch national team in their prime in the 1970s.