Former Liverpool goalkeeper Alexander Doni has revealed that his long absence from football was caused by a heart attack suffered last summer.
Doni joined Botafogo in his native Brazil on Thursday after his contract at Anfield was cancelled by mutual consent. The 33-year-old had been back home in South America since the summer, with Liverpool only stating that he was on leave for personal reasons.
But Doni, who joined Liverpool from Roma in July 2011, told the Brazilian website globoesporte.com that he nearly died after having a cardiac arrest during a medical test.
He said: "I almost ended up on the other side. I had a heart attack for about 25 seconds.
"I've been to one of the best doctors in Europe who looked at me carefully. He's asked me to stop for a few months. "Now I have to wait until April, then I can return to the field."
Doni, who established himself as second choice to Pepe Reina at Anfield last season, played four times for Liverpool, making his debut in a 1-1 Premier League draw against Aston Villa in April 2012.
The keeper has won 10 caps for Brazil and was in their squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but did not play.
Liverpool have declined to comment on Doni's revelation.