International

Football keeps Cruyff from worry

2015-11-09 15:35
Johan Cruyff (uefa.com)

The Hague - Recently diagnosed with lung cancer, Dutch football giant Johan Cruyff says excellent health care combined with his constant passion for football leave him little time to worry about his health.

"There's so much happening in football and I love to think and talk about it so much that I end up having very little time to worry." the 1971, 1972 and 1973 Ballon d'Or winner wrote in his weekly column in Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf.

"Another reason I don't worry so much is because of the exceptional quality of care I've been getting from the doctors," said the former Ajax and Barcelona star who led the Netherlands to the World Cup final in 1974.

"We've passed the first round and a new road is opening up," he wrote.

Regarded as one of the world's greatest-ever players and one of the chief proponents of the "total football" philosophy, the now 68-year-old legend has been getting treatment in Barcelona.

In his playing days Cruyff was often seen sporting a cigarette from the side of his mouth and was known to light up at half-time or as soon as he stepped out of the showers.

But he quit smoking after undergoing a double heart bypass operation in 1991 at the age of 44 when he was reportedly smoking at least 20 cigarettes a day.

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