Adios, Señor Puerta
ANTONIO Puerta, the Sevilla defender, died today in hospital after collapsing during Saturday's 4-1 win over Getafe which sent the UEFA Cup winners top of La Liga.
The 22-year-old suffered a heart attack in the first half of the match before being rushed to the Virgen del Rocio hospital where he passed away early today.
Hospital director Gimeno Guerrero said Puerta, capped once by his country, died of "multiple organ failure" as a result of "prolonged cardiac arrest". "We regret to report that the patient Antonio Puerta died at [1230 GMT] today," added a hospital statement.
"The death was caused by postanoxic encephalopathy and a multiple failure of his organs caused by the prolonged cardiac arrest that provoked his admission to hospital."
Sevilla's Champions League qualifier with AEK Athens tonight has been postponed as has their league game at Osasuna on Monday, with Friday's Super Cup clash with Milan in serious doubt.
Puerta's death follows those of Hungarian Miklos Feher - who died of a heart attack during a Portuguese league match in 2004 - and Cameroon midfielder Marc Vivien Foe, who collapsed and died during the 2003 Confederations Cup.
Puerta is survived by his girlfirend, reportedly eight months pregnant with their first child.
Antonio José Puerta Pérez (26 November 1984 – 28 August 2007)