Real Madrid midfielder Ruben de la Red has been forced to retireafter suffering a heart problem during a match two years ago.
The 25-year-old was a member of Spain’s Euro 2008-winning squad, but three months later, he collapsed on the field 13 minutes into Madrid’s Copa del Rey match against Real Union and has not played since.
De la Red said he had strived to remain a player but doctors advised him to retire. Madrid appointed him to its coaching staff on Thursday.
Spanish football has been rocked by the deaths in recent seasons of Sevilla defender Antonio Puerta and Espanyol captain Dani Jarque, both due to heart failure.
Last month, Miguel Garcia collapsed with a cardiac arrest during a second-division game and had to be resuscitated.