Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba [photo courtesy]
Virgil van Dijk has sent a heartfelt message to Sol Bamba following the Cardiff defender’s devastating cancer diagnosis.
It was announced on Monday the 35-year-old has started chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
A statement on Cardiff’s Twitter account confirmed the saddening news, but added that “Sol has begun his battle in typically positive spirits.
“We are all with you, Sol.”
Liverpool star van Dijk was quick to offer his support to Bamba, responding to the post with a personal message.
“Sending my best wishes and strength to the big man, you can beat this!! Stay strong,” van Dijk wrote.
While Bamba will take a break from playing, he is set to continue attending Cardiff’s matches, as well as coaching in the club’s academy.
October 17, 2020 Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk collides with Everton’s Jordan Pickford [REUTERS]
His former manager at Cardiff, Neil Warnock, has also been among those to offer their support.
“He’s almost part of the family we’ve been through that much together. It just shows you how we have to grasp at every aspect while we’re here,” now Middlesbrough boss Warnock told talkSPORT .
“He’s coping very, very well in the circumstances.
“If anybody can overcome this, it’s Sol – he’s such a fighter. We all wish him well.
“He’s a super person. He’s not daft – he knows there are people worse off than him and he’s going to fight what’s been put before him. He’s got determination in abundance.”
Warnock’s fondness for Bamba will come as little surprise, given his once particularly favourable comparison with Liverpool’s towering centre-half.
“I think Sol Bamba is slightly better than Van Dijk, defensive wise,” said Warnock previously.
“Van Dijk’s got better attributes on the ball but I don’t think he’s a better defender than Sol Bamba.
“I think Van Dijk’s is more confident on the ball and easier on the eye but I don’t think he’s better defensively.”
Former Manchester City star Yaya Toure, also took to the social media to wish the defender a quick recovery.