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Johan Cruyff ‘diagnosed with lung cancer’ as Holland and Barcelona legend awaits results of further tests

Holland and Barcelona hero Johan Cruyff is suffering from lung cancer

The 68-year-old Dutchman was diagnosed last week in Spain

The severity of his condition will be ascertained by further tests

Cruyff was the star of the great Holland team of 1974, and its Total Football

He remains arguably the best player in history for both Ajax and Barcelona

Johan Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer, his former club Ajax have confirmed.

Spanish media reported the news on Thursday, and Ajax director Edwin van der Sar said on the club website: ‘We have had contact with his manager, Carole Thate, and she confirmed to us that Johan indeed has lung cancer.

‘It has just been discovered, so they could not yet provide much more information. On behalf of the club, I wish Johan and his family a lot of strength and a speedy recovery.’

Cruyff was the star of the Holland team of the 1970s which invented the style of ‘Total Football’

Cruyff was a habitual smoker until 1991, when he underwent heart bypass surgery

The Barcelona, Ajax and Holland legend, regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history and star man of the Dutch team that introduced ‘Total Football’ to the world, was diagnosed with the disease last Tuesday in the Catalan capital.

Cruyff, 68, is now undergoing further tests to understand the extent of the disease, according to El Mundo.

A long-term smoker of around 20 cigarettes a day, Cruyff underwent open-heart surgery in 1991 while managing Barcelona. He quit smoking following the double bypass operation, and returned to his post for a further five years.

Cruyff led Barcelona to their first European Cup triumph in 1992, when Ronald Koeman’s free-kick beat Sampdoria at Wembley.

Despite winning just 48 caps for his country, Cruyff is one of the most influential footballers to have played the game. He developed close control and levels of skill years ahead of his time, pioneering the ‘Cruyff turn’ – dragging the ball back behind his standing leg to turn in the opposite direction – a move much-imitated and still used to bamboozle defenders to this day.

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