Danish legend Laudrup vows to win battle with cancer

The former Denmark forward Brian Laudrup has revealed he is undergoing treatment for cancer.

The 41-year-old, who enjoyed a highly successful spell with Rangers from 1994-98, during which time he won three league titles, has been diagnosed with a mild form of lymphoma.

"I am obviously shocked by the diagnosis, but also know that there is now a tough battle ahead of me – a battle I will win," Laudrup told TV3, where he works as a commentator.

"Fortunately, I have had very optimistic reports from doctors to support me."

The former Bayern Munich, Fiorentina, Chelsea and Ajax star added: "I now want to use my energy to get over the shock and take time with my family and those closest to me, so together we can move forward after this diagnosis."

Laudrup scored 21 goals in 82 matches for Denmark and helped his country to the European Championship in 1992. He was named the Danish player of the year on four occasions.

Meanwhile, Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz has not given up hope of playing in Serie A in the future.

The Paraguay striker came close to joining Lazio, only for the deal to fall through on the final day of the window last month. Despite also being linked with Fulham, the 29-year-old Santa Cruz remained at City.

Santa Cruz, who is on international duty with Paraguay this week, told Rome's Corriere dello Sport: "I had hoped to arrive in Rome; that was my dream. Unfortunately, the deal fell through. There has been a lot of talk of my arrival to Italy and perhaps next time it will materialise."

Lazio themselves have not ruled out making another attempt to acquire Santa Cruz in January.

"We will see what happens in the next few months," Santa Cruz said. "I don't like to look too far away and I don't know what Lazio's intentions are. I have received many offers but I had hoped to play in Rome.

"I am happy in England but Italian football fascinates me and I would love to have an experience in Serie A."

In Brazil, Romario, who won the 1994 World Cup and scored more than 1,000 goals playing for major clubs, is looking to put something back by entering local politics.

"Shorty", the poor boy from the Jacarezinho favela (shanty town) who became one of the world's best strikers, is seeking support from the poor in Rio to win a local election next month. If he is elected as a federal deputy for the Rio branch of the Brazilian Socialist Party, Romario would hope to help deprived children "to give back all that which Father in Heaven gave me".

Romario, whose youngest daughter has Down's syndrome, proposes creating sports centres for young poor people in Rio and providing social assistance to disabled children.

"In politics, I'm going to have less difficulty than I've had so far to do something for children and young people in the community and also for children with special needs," the 44-year-old said.

"People, especially in the communities, respect me and see in me someone who came from where they are and that they can get to where I did," he told Reuters Television after three hours of campaigning in the City of God favela. "I was always an example for them in that sense and now that I can, I must give back all that which Father in Heaven gave me and I believe politics can make that possible for me."

The former Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona and Valencia striker, who retired from football at 41, promises "another goal for Brazil".

In an election broadcast, Romario says: "In sport, I always promised and delivered. In politics, it won't be any different. I count on your vote to score another goal for Brazil."

If elected, Romario, who also has a strong campaign on the internet with 112,000 followers on Twitter, will have to spend the week in the capital Brasilia. He promised, however, to continue as a director of America, the Rio club he has always supported and which won promotion to the state first division, although they are in the fourth tier of the national championship.

He said: "I haven't played for three years, what I do in football is help America and that's something I won't stop doing. But I'm going to get fully involved in politics."

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