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Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer

#CruyffStrong - Johan Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer

October 22, 2015 By Oscar Casanova Perches
He reached the World Cup final with Netherlands in 1974. He was an avid smoker up until 1991 when he underwent major surgery.

Johan Cruyff underwent medical examinations earlier this week and the results were delvered to the world this Thursday. Barcelona's VP confirmed that the Netherlands legend had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Cruyff had fought many battles on the field, but the biggest one of them starts now that he is 68.

There were some sad news to report in Barcelona's headquarters 

Success as a Player

Cruyff became an icon with Ajax. He had his senior debut in 1964 with a team that he dreamed to play for growing up in Amsterdam. His career was full of great moments and probably the best one was reaching the World Cup final with Netherlands in 1974. Unfortunately for him and his team, West Germany defeated them.

With Ajax he was able to win three European Cups and six Dutch Championships plus two UEFA Super Cups. In 1971, he was named European Player of the Year. With Netherlands he was able to score 33 goals in 48 appearances. He then continued playing for Barcelona where he would win two more Ballon d'Or awards and a La Liga title by the end of his first season with the Catalan club.

Cruyff decided to retire playing after playing for five clubs in the last five years of his career. He made a quick tour in the United States where he played for Los Angeles Aztecs and the Washington Diplomats. It was after many injuries that Cruyff decided it was time to end his career as a player in 1983. Levante, Ajax and Fejenoord were the last clubs to have Cruyff in their roster as an active player.

Success as a Coach and Businessman

He quickly transferred to being a manager where he found even more success. He started with Ajax and earned two titles with the Dutch team. With Barcelona, from 1988 to 1994, he won four league titles, three Super Cups, a European Cup and a Copa Del Rey title.

After that run with a total of nine titles, not being able to win anything between 1995 and 1996 was a good enough reason for Barecelona's executives to fire Cruyff. By the end of the century he was voted European Player of the Century.

As a way to pass on his knowledge and continue to be involved in the world of soccer as a businessman, he created the Johan Cruyff Foundation and the Johan Cruyff Institute, which are widely recognized now. He has also served as a soccer advisor for Chivas (Mex) and the Catalonia national team coach.

Health Issues

Johan Cruyff had been seen smoking constantly until 1991. That year, while he was still Barcelona's star on the sidelines, he underwent a double heart bypass surgery. He was able to recover quickly and changed the cigarette for a lollipop to calm his nerves.

He also appeared in a healt campaign against smoking for the Catalan Health Department. He wanted to pass along a very important lesson that life had given him before his heart surgery.

"Football has given me everything in life, tobacco almost took it all away," Cruyff said during one of the ads of the campaign.

WATCH: Cruyff sending out a message about the dangers of smoking

Now, at 68, Cruyff will have to fight in a very long battle. A warrior inside the field hopes to be an even bigger soldier outside from it. The biggest game of his life starts now. Good luck Johan Cruyff! 

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