The football world has been shaken this week by the news that long time English favourite Manuel Almunia has been forced to retire from the game with a heart condition.
He was due to join Italian side Cagliari. However during his medical he was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - a thickening of the walls of the heart which can cause sudden death.
Often this comes after strenuous exercise, with the tragedies of Marc-Vivien Foe, Miklos Feher and Dani Jarque amongst many who have succumbed to this silent killer, so the best course of action is certainly retirement from professional football considering his high risk place in the game.
Tributes have poured in from across Twitter for the player, but none probably carry more resonance than that of Fabrice Muamba's Tweet this morning...
just heard the news about Manuel Almunia. i know it’s not easiest thing to deal with but at least you have your health and your family— fabrice muamba (@fmuamba) August 28, 2014
Muamba was a team-mate of Almunia's during his early days at Arsenal. They even palyed together twice in the League Cup against Sunderland and Reading. The former midfield battler suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest whilst playing for Bolton against Tottenham back in March 2012. team-mate
His words of wisdom should be heeded by Almunia, who at the age of 37 is fortunate to have gone his entire career without suffering from the problem in the way Muamba did - perhaps his position, goalkeeper, played a part in that. Now he must appreciate his family and look back on his career with pride, whilst also looking toward a new future either in the game or in other pursuits.
Good luck Manuel.