Football legend Johan Cruijff doing "very well" in cancer fight

Johan Cruijff is doing “very well” in his battle against lung cancer, his son Jordi told NOS Radio. The elder Cruijff, a legendary Dutch national football player and successful coach, announced his illness to the world in October.

“I can say that we have heard pretty good news lately,” Jordi Cruijff said, without going into specifics.

“My father is obviously the strong type, especially in his head. He has a strong mentality, and always sees the upside in a difficult situation,” Cruijff said. “That makes us all strong. We also stand next to beside him.”

The October announcement prompted a massive outpouring of support from fans and colleagues alike. He called the response “emotional and heartwarming,” and was optimistic about the prospect of his illness raising more awareness for cancer sufferers.

The cancer diagnosis was made at a hospital in Barcelona. Cruijff played for FC Barcelona from 1973-1978 after nine years at Ajax. He won the Ballon d’Or three times over his career with the two teams, and he later managed both the Amsterdam and Spanish teams from the mid-1980s through 1996. He also coached the Catalonian national football squad from 2009 to 2013.

In 48 matches for the Dutch national squad, he scored 33 goals and led the team to a second-place finish in the 1974 World Cup. He won the Golden Ball for the tournament that year. He also played for the 1976 European Championship squad that took third.