I'm 2-0 up in battle against cancer, says Cruyff
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyff says he is "2-0 up in the first half" of his fight against lung cancer and confident of winning the battle.
A former smoker who had heart surgery in 1991, the 68-year-old former Barcelona coach was diagnosed with cancer in October.
"After several medical treatments I can say the results have been very positive, thanks to the excellent work of the doctors, the affection of the people and my positive mentality," triple Ballon d'Or winner Cruyff said in a statement.
"Right now I have the feeling I am 2-0 up in the first half of a match that has not finished yet. But I am sure I will end up winning."
Considered one of football's all-time greats, Cruyff helped Ajax Amsterdam win three European Cups from 1971-73 and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1971, 1973 and 1974.
He joined Barcelona for a then-world record transfer fee of $2 million and it was the Catalan club that defined his coaching career as he helped them win their first La Liga title in 15 years in 1974.
Cruyff famously wore the number 14 jersey throughout his sparkling playing career with Ajax, Barcelona, Feyenoord and the Dutch national team beaten by West Germany in the 1974 World Cup final.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by Tony Jimenez)