“We’re all Sevilla supporters today…”

August 28, 2007

Antonio Puerta jumps over the Rayo goalkeeper during a Kings Cup match last season. Marcelo del Pozo / ReutersThe tragic news of the death of the 22-year-old Antonio Puerta, three days after he collapsed on the pitch in Sevilla’s opening league game against Getafe, has left Spanish football in shock.

Today is one of the saddest days in the history of Sevilla Football Club,” president José María del Nido said. “That diamond left foot of Antonio Puerta has left us, that left foot that changed our lives has left us.”

There are well over 5,000 comments from people expressing their condolences on Marca’s web site alone, while clubs from all over the country, and further afield, have expressed their sorrow, as Mark Elkington reports from Madrid.

The death has shocked people profoundly. Partly that’s because millions of people could see just how distressed he was as he collapsed during a match broadcast live on free-to-air TV in Spain. It’s also because Puerta, at the age of 22, genuinely seemed to have a brilliant future before him.

He looked ready to take a regular place in the Spanish national team, on the left side of defence or midfield. He had scored a cracking goal to send Sevilla through to the final of the UEFA Cup in 2006, making him the scorer of “the goal that changed our lives,” according to the Diario de Sevilla. He played a part as a sub in that year’s final victory over Middlesbrough and then played the whole of their 2007 UEFA Cup win against Espanyol, as well the King’s Cup final success against Getafe.

Sadly, it is by no means a unique case. As our Factbox shows, Hugo Cunha, Marcio Dos Santos, Miklos Feher, Maximiliano Patrick Ferreira, Marc-Vivien Foe, Dave Longhurst, Samuel Okwaraji and Serginho have all died in apparently similar circumstances in recent times. Marca mentions the cases of other players starting with Pedro Berruezo, also of Sevilla, back in 1973.

In Andalucia, where too many people take football far too seriously, the major shareholder of Sevilla rivals Real Betis, Manuel Ruiz de Lopera summed things up.

“We’re all Sevilla supporters today,” he said.

Comments

I am deeply saddened by this tragic death of a young man whoe,s footballing career was only just begining.such a sad loss for his family, friends and Sevilla football club. my deepest sympathy to his family and Sevilla football club.
Peter Seward.West Ham.

 

My heart goes out to him and his family. It is a sad sad loss. He was a very good player and had a great future ahead of him. Just shows how fickle life can be. I am an avid Madrid supporter but will also be rooting for Sevilla this season. Rest in peace Puerta. :(

Posted by Selwyn | Report as abusive
 

I played 5-a-side today and it was the subject discussed in the changing room. Everyone was shocked. Events like this certainly put things into perspective.

Posted by Jimbo | Report as abusive
 

I would like to send my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Antonio Puerta.

To Sevilla FC I am very sorry for your loss.My heart is with you at this terrible time.

Posted by Steve from Nottingham | Report as abusive
 

I was shocked to read about this – how terrible to see this happen to such a young, talented and committed young man.

Posted by Kat | Report as abusive
 

Can not believe wat as happened,
will be a major loss to football,
deepest sympathys to his family
and all that new him, rest in peace

Posted by Gregg | Report as abusive
 

I can’t believe it either. Sounds like a great loss to the game. His wife was pregnant as well. Tragic.

Posted by redderthanever | Report as abusive
 

I can’t believe that Puerta has passed away. I was at the game on Saturday night and was enormously relieved when he walked to the rooms after suffering what seemed to be a serious episode on the pitch. I am devastated for his family, his pregnant girlfriend and all those people Sevilla FC fans who stood to cheer him off the pitch on Saturday night. Rest in peace Antonio.

Posted by Sim | Report as abusive
 

Rest in peace Antonio,you are always be on our heart.
Pocivaj u miru Antonio,uvek ces biti u nasim srcima.

Fan from Serbia

Posted by Marko | Report as abusive
 

i was shocked when i seen it.but i was even more shocked 2day when i seen the t.v and i would like 2 say sorry 2 all of those Sevilla f.c fans and i would like 2 say sorry 2 everyone that knew this good footballer at such a young age 2.it will be a major loss to football and my
deepest sympathys go to his family
and all that new him.rest in peace Antonio.from daniel in wales

Posted by daniel jarvis | Report as abusive
 

Vaya con Dios Antonio. Indeed, we are all Sevilla fans on this sombre day.

Posted by Red Devil | Report as abusive
 

This shocked me profoundly. Rest in Peace. And I hope the club look after his family for the rest of their long lives.

Posted by London | Report as abusive
 

This is indeed sad. My condolences to Sevilla FC fans, Sevilla FC and Puerta’s family members.
R.I.P Antonio Puerta

Posted by Five Times | Report as abusive
 

Absolutely horrible. I wish I’d never seen the pictures.
And spare a thought for the family of Ray Jones too. http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/0 8/29/ray_jones_19882007.html
What a tragic week it’s been.

Posted by Rafa | Report as abusive
 

its very shocking i was watchin the match and he just suddenly collasped it was scary at first but he got back up but den wen i saw on the news that he had died i dropped to my knees in shock i coulndt believe it he was truely going to be one of the best in my eyes and my families eyes.
R.I.P ANTONIO PUERTA and i hope the club looks after his family god bless xxxxxxxxxxx

Posted by Luluyetha Howell | Report as abusive
 

We know what it is to lose a player by a sudden death. We lost David di Tommaso two years ago. I Wish al the Sevilla players, staff, other employees and supporters much succes with this loss.

R.I.P.

 

I cannot believe this has happened, my sympathy goes out to his family, his team mates, his friends and the club! We are all with you!

Posted by Darrell | Report as abusive
 

We are Sevilla supporters now and for the whole season. Rest in Peace, Antonio. You are in all our hearts, and the club of your whole life will care for your family.

Posted by Elena | Report as abusive
 

RIP Antonio.

My massive and heart felt sympathy goes out to his Girlfriend and family!

Posted by stephen | Report as abusive
 

It was moving to see Betis pay tribute today, with the name of Puerta on all their T-shirts. You can see it here:
http://www.marca.com/fotogalerias/2007/f utbol/liga/betis/puerta/01.html

Posted by Elena | Report as abusive