Alexa

Spanish fans say farewell to Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta

Spanish fans say farewell to Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta

Antonio Puerta, the soccer player who died three days after collapsing on the field during a match, was cremated Wednesday after thousands of fans gave him an emotional farewell.
People shouted out expressions of affection, applauded and wept as Puerta's coffin, draped in the club's centenary banner and Spanish national flag, made its way through the southern Spanish town to the cemetery, where the family held a private ceremony.
Teammates, rival players and leading figures from the world of soccer paid their last respects to Puerta, and more than 10,000 fans lined the streets surrounding the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where a wake was open to the public to mourn the 22-year-old midfielder.
Sevilla fans were seen placing candles, scarves and personal tributes at the door of the stadium. They were accompanied by thousands of fans from crosstown rival Betis.
Puerta died Tuesday of "multiple organ failure stemming from prolonged cardiac arrest" and subsequent coronary problems, according to Virgen del Rocio Hospital director Gimeno Guerrero.
Puerta lost consciousness and fell near his own goal Saturday in the 31st minute, but was able to walk off minutes later after being treated by team doctors. Doctors said he had a heart attack in the locker room and at least one more in the emergency room of a Seville hospital.
Sevilla, which beat Getafe 4-1 in Saturday's match, was scheduled to play at AEK Athens on Tuesday in the second leg of Champions League qualifying, but UEFA postponed the match.
The game will be played Monday, when Sevilla had been scheduled to play Osasuna in the Spanish league. Friday's European Super Cup against AC Milan will be play as scheduled in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Puerta, who was born in Seville, has played for Spain's national team and scored one of Sevilla's penalty kicks in the shootout win over Espanyol in May in the UEFA Cup final.
He also scored an injury-time goal that led Sevilla over Schalke in the semifinals of the 2006 UEFA Cup. Sevilla went on to win the final, beating Middlesbrough 4-0.
Other soccer players who have died after collapsing on the field include Benfica's Miklos Feher in 2004 and Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe at the 2003 Confederations Cup in France.


Updated : 2021-02-28 18:24 GMT+08:00