33-year-old Brazilian stopper Alexander Doni has retired with heart problems.
About 12 months ago, I, along with many others found myself asking the question … ‘Where on earth is Liverpool keeper Alexander Doni?’
The Brazilian stopper had seemingly vanished from the face of the earth without a trace - and it is scary how apt that statement could have been.
The world of football has been thrown into shock once again recently - with the untimely passing of former Birmingham City striker Chucho Benitez.
He joins the long list of players such as Marc-Vivien Foe, Miklos Feher, Fabrice Muamba, Pietmario Morosini, David Sommeil, Phil O’Donnell, Antonio Puerta, Dani Jarque - a list that used to be just a couple of names - to have suffered serious heart problems in recent years.
And now, unfortunately, the former Liverpool stopper has himself been forced to hang up his boots due to a heart problem.
He revealed in February that he suffered a heart attack whilst undergoing fitness tests at Liverpool. Ahead of a proposed move to Botafogo last summer he made the problems with his arrhythmia clear - and was told to rest for an indefinite period of months.
Today, the 33-year-old has announced he will be retiring from the game, hanging up his gloves in order to protect his heart:
“God doesn’t want me to play football anymore. It’s sad that I have to quit, especially because my son wanted to see me play again. I would have liked to continue for him, but I can’t do anything about it. I’ve already died once. Now I want to think about the future and also Roma, who I continue to have a good relationship with.’’
While Doni of course played for Liverpool, he is more fondly remembered at Italian outfit AS Roma - where the support has been overwhelming on social network sites and the like.
But there has also been plenty of support from the Liverpool family. When the chips are down and times are hard not many clubs come together as a family quite like those at Liverpool - and even though Doni only ever played four times for the club - the Liverpool faithful will certainly offer their full support.
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