Cruijff confirms lung cancer diagnosis

Football legend Johan Cruijff has lung cancer. His management has released a statement that confirms the diagnosis.

"In recent weeks Johan Cruijff has had medical examinations at a hospital in Barcelona. He was diagnosed with lung cancer. The examinations are still ongoing", the statement reads. The management continues that further announcements can not be made at this time due to the fact that the examinations are not yet finished and for the privacy of the Cruijff family. "We hope that you will respect the privacy of Johan and his family. When the examinations are complete, we will announce the details."

Earlier on Thursday Spanish media already started reporting the diagnosis, causing aghast reactions in the football world. Amsterdam football club Ajax, where Cruijff played as a youth and started his career as both footballer and coach, released a statement saying that they are shocked. "On behalf of the club I wish Johan and his family a lot of strength and a speedy recovery", said director Edwin van der Sar.

Cruijff used to be a heavy smoker, according to NRC. He also advertised Roxy cigarettes during his time as football player. He quit smoking in 1991 after a double bypass surgery in Barcelona. He then switched to lollipops and gum and appeared in a campaign against smoking. In a campaign video for the Catalan Government, Cruijff said that football had given him everything, and smoking had nearly taken everything away.