Willem van Hanegem has spoken of his shock after hearing that ex-Netherlands teammate Johan Cruyff is suffering from lung cancer.

  • By Michael Bell
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hanegemCruyff and Van Hanegem played together with the Netherlands national team and the duo were key members of the Dutch squad that reached the 1974 World Cup.

Speaking to newspaper AD, Van Hanegem(71) , who stated he broke down in tears when he heard the news, announced his shock at hearing that Cruyff was suffering from lung cancer.

He said , “There are no words. I’ve been thinking all day about him. This is incomprehensible. You just hope that it is not so. This is part of life. Anyone can get sick. But some you think: no, it can not be true!”

Van Hanegem also opened up on his relationship with Cruyff, “We were not friends. Did not reach each other on the floor. But I respected him greatly.”

“At Oranje we often slept in the same room. I would have his son Jordi on my arm. Give that to me, I’d say. Because I’m much stronger than you.”

However the former Feyenoord great believes Cruyff is one of the Worlds best ever players, “And I also, for example played with Pele in World teams. Cruyff was better. I put¬†him in the category of Messi and Maradona.”

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