Netherlands, Ajax and Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer, it has been confirmed.
Johan Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
The management company of the former Barcelona, Ajax and Netherlands star issued a statement on Thursday confirming the detection of the serious illness.
"Over the last couple of weeks Johan Cruyff has had medical examinations at a hospital in Barcelona," Carole Thate, General Manager at the World of Johan Cruyff, said in the statement.
"Lung cancer has been established. The investigations are still ongoing. On behalf of the privacy of Johan and his family and the fact that the investigations have not been completed, further announcement at this time can't be given.
"We hope you'll respect the privacy of Johan and his family. When investigations are completed, we'll announce the details."
At an unrelated media conference on Thursday, Barca vice president Susana Monje issued a message of support for Cruyff.
"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.