For The Love Of The Game

Posted: 28.08.07 in Blogging

I was watching Sevilla v Getafe: the first La Liga game of the season shown on Sky Sports this season (Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid was not shown due to contractual disputes). This was just the first farce of the night – the referee made his first sending off just 22 minutes into the game, and Getafe were down to nine men before half time. But it was on the half hour mark of this game that one image will remain vivid in my mind.

Antonio Puerta, a Sevilla defender was casually running back to his own goal when he slowly made to the crowd. This didn’t seem unusual at first, until a team-mate frantically beckoned others towards the now stricken Puerta. Between himself and the nearby goalkeeper, they quickly made to grab his tongue whilst the team doctor ran onto the pitch. Quite a crowd amassed as thousands of helpless fans looked on, myself included.

Puerta regained consciousness and walked off the pitch flanked by medical staff and he was helped to the dressing room, where it emerged he collapsed again. His club later confirmed he had suffered a heart attack. From there he remained in a critical condition in the local hospital until earlier today when sadly he died.

He was only 22 years of age, but had achieved a lot in his short time: he had won the UEFA Cup twice with Sevilla, and also won the UEFA Super Cup.


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