World Cancer Day: Pele Remembers Johan Cruyff PICTURE SOURCE: Pele Official Twitter
Pele and Cruyff maintained a solid relationship even after their playing days. PICTURE SOURCE: Pele Official Twitter

Brazil soccer legend, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, popularly known as Pelé has paid tribute to his “friend” Johan Cruyff (of blessed memory) on February 4 – World Cancer Day.

By so doing, Pelé lends his voice to the campaign against cancer.

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Concise News reports that Cruyff – a successful football player and coach – died peacefully on March 24, 2016, in Barcelona, surrounded by his family after a hard fought battle with cancer.

Pelé writes on his verified Twitter handle:

“My friend, Johan Cruyff. It’s and the disease took him too soon. There’s lots we can do to stop it happening to others. // Meu amigo, . Hoje é Dia do Combate ao Câncer, uma doença que o levou tão cedo. Temos muito a fazer para evitar isso com outros.”

Last year as well, the man who is arguably the greatest player to ever grace the football pitch cast the public’s mind back to Dutch icon, Cruyff.

“Cancer has taken too many legends from us recently, including my friend . But I know that one day we will beat it. // O câncer tem levado muitas lendas recentemente, inclusive meu amigo . Mas eu sei que um dia venceremos isso.

Pele and Cruyff played active football in the same era. While Cruyff played between 1964 and 1984, Pele pleasured the footballing world between 1956 and 1977.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018 alone.

Sadly, many athletes have died of the disease. Several famous football coaches and Olympians died from various forms of cancer. This horrible disease has claimed the lives of many of the world’s most prolific professional athletes.

In October 2013, former coach of Senegal, Bruno Metsu died of cancer at the age of 59.

In January 2015, ex-Super Eagles goalkeeper, Wilfred Agbonavbare, died of cancer.

Agbonavbare who exited the world aged 48 was initially treated in Florida, United States before being transferred to the Prince of Asturias Hospital in Alcalá de Henares in Spain.