Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed he is having treatment after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in his native Argentina.
The popular midfielder has said he has undergone chemotherapy, after having surgery following the discovery of a tumour, which was first noticed last year.
The 33-year-old told Argentinian TV show Indirecto on TyC Sports: "When I was told I had cancer, I went home in tears.
"In May 2013, I felt very tough pains on my testicle. After some wrong diagnosis, an ultrasound detected the tumour.
"I came here and I assumed the costs despite having a contract with Newcastle. Money is not important. What is important is my health. I had to start chemotherapy."
Gutierrez, who has made 22 appearances for his country, has admitted several national colleagues, including close friend and Newcastle team-mate Fabricio Coloccini, have been a great help.
He added: "This is the most difficult match I've every played. You start thinking about important things when you have problems like this one.
"Some guys like (Gabriel) Heinze gave me strength.
"After surgery, I told (Ezequiel) Lavezzi, (Martin) Demichelis and Coloccini, who is very close to me. We've played together at Newcastle for six years and he calls me. He is almost a member of my family.
"I decided to reveal all this because I think this is a difficult moment, but there is nothing wrong with this. These things may help other people."
Gutierrez joined Newcastle from Mallorca in July 2008 and became a fans' favourite when he played a starring role in helping the club win the Championship in his second season in the north-east.
However, he was largely unused by manager Alan Pardew last season and was allowed to join Norwich on loan for the second half of last season, where he made his last league appearance in the Canaries' 1-0 defeat to West Brom in April.
He took to Twitter to express his gratitude to well-wishers late on Tuesday night, saying: "Thanks for all the messages. Always looking forward."