Sevilla's Sergio Sanchez "shattered" after health blow
Sevilla defender Sergio Sanchez admits he feels "shattered and destroyed" after having to stop playing football due to a heart condition but is trying to stay positive.
The 23-year-old, who joined the club from Espanyol last summer, has been told to stop all physical activity for the time being, and there are serious questions marks over his footballing future.
"I'm shattered and destroyed from a football point of view," he told Catalan television channel TV3, "but I have to look at the positives. Not playing is very hard for me. Fortunately I have a lot of people by my side and I know that I have to think positive."
The news about Sanchez comes just five months after his former Espanyol team-mate Dani Jarque died at the age of 26 when his heart stopped following a training session at a pre-season camp in Italy.
In 2007, Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta died after suffering multiple organ failure in hospital, three days after a cardiac arrest during a league match against Getafe.
And Sanchez, who has returned to his home town of Barcelona to be with his family before undergoing further tests, knows that in one sense he is very fortunate.
"The families of Jarque and Puerto would pay to be in my situation. For that reason I have to stay positive and have to cheer up," he said.
Real Madrid midfielder Ruben de la Red has been sidelined since collapsing during a Copa del Rey tie in October 2008 after suffering what club medical chief Carlos Diez described as "acute fainting probably brought about by cardiac strain".