Soccer / spanish league
Today I Remember #2 - Antonio Puerta
Today is the 26th of November 2018, and I bring to you No. 2 of my "Today I Remember" series. Image Source On the 28th of August 2007, Spanish football was thrown into mourning as a bright and young talent passed away at the very young age of 22 years old. Puerta was born on 26th of November 1984, and played as a left midfielder or attacking left back in the Spanish La Liga for Sevilla FC. On August 25th 2007, while playing in a Spanish La Liga game against another spanish side, Getafe, Antonio suffered fatal cardiac arrests that would lead to his death. Three days later, on August 28th 2007, he died due to the hereditary disease called “Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia”, which he suffered from. Antonio Puerta had grown up playing through the Sevilla youth ranks along with other notable Spanish players such as Sergio Ramos and Jesús Navas. He had joined the side as a little child but ended up spending 14 years with the club before his tragic death. Image Source He was such an amazing talent that his performance coupled with fine football and efficiency from Sevilla FC earned him 5 titles within just 15 months. During his time with the club, crucial goals from Antonio Puerta helped Sevilla to those 5 titles. His goal in April 2006, against Schalke 04 in the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup earned Sevilla an aggregate win. He also scored in a successful penalty shoot-out for Sevilla against Espanyol in the final of the UEFA Cup in 2007. Such was the brilliance of the young 22-year old, that clubs such as Real Madrid, Manchester United and even Arsenal all made unsuccessful bids to sign Puerta, but were turned down. Sadly though, on the day he would have his last kick of the round leather, he suddenly crouched, lost consciousness and collapsed after just 35 minutes of play, against Getafe CF. Image Source Three days later, he was pronounced dead, after doctor’s stated that he had suffered irreversible brain damage and multiple organ failures due to the hereditary and incurable heart disease, ARVD. His death triggered so much heartfelt reactions from fans and opposing teams; as a lot of Spanish clubs and players, paid unreserved tributes to Puerta following his death. Image Source World football governing body, FIFA, had to take action following his death – which was the latest in a long list of players collapsing and dying from heart issues while playing the game. FIFA acted promptly following the incident, by instructing all Federations that were to host World Cup Qualifiers to install resuscitation rooms in each host stadium. Antonio Puerta and his girlfriend at the time were expecting to become parents to their first child – who turned out to be a boy, Aitor Antonio – before the tragic incident. Antonio Puerta was just 22 years old, had only played once for the Spanish senior national side, had won 5 trophies, was expecting a child with his girl, but couldn’t live to see his life and football dreams come true.
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