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17 Footballers Who Met Tragic Deaths

Emiliano Sala

1). Emiliano Sala was an Argentine footballer who played for Nantes in France. His sad death came as he tried to secure a £15m club record move from Nantes FC to English club, Cardiff. After completing medicals, he returned to France to pick up his belongings for the new club. However, on 21st January 2019, while returning to his new club for his first training, the aircraft he was in disappeared. His body was found at a depth of 63 metres (207 ft) inside the wrecked aircraft on the seabed.

Jose Antonio Reyes

2). Antonio Reyes was a former Spanish player who played for Sevilla, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Benfica. He died on the 1st of June 2019 at the age of 35 in a fatal car accident alongside his cousin, Jonathan Reyes while traveling between Utrera and Seville. Another of his cousin, Juan Manuel Calderón, who was also in the car was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

Cheick Tiote

3). Cheick Tioté was an Ivorien international who played for English club, Newcastle. He died on 5th June 2017, in Beijing, China, after suffering a cardiac arrest in training.


4). Jeanine Christelle Djomnang was a 22-year-old goalkeeper who played for Cameroon before her untimely death. She fell ill before a match and was rushed to the hospital where she died, according to a report by BBC.

Antonio Puerta, en el Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán. _ José Manuel Cabello
Antonio Puerta (Photo credit: José Manuel Cabello)

5). Antonio Puerta was a Spanish footballer who died while playing for Sevilla. He collapsed on the field on 25th August 2007 and died on 28th August 2007 of hereditary heart disease called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.

Senzo Meyiwa
Senzo Meyiwa

6). Senzo Meyiwa played as a goalkeeper for Orlando Pirates in the South African Premier Soccer League, and for the South Africa national team. He died tragically on the 26th of October 2014 after armed robbers invaded the house of his girlfriend, Kelly Khumalo and shot him.

Andres Escobar

7). Andres Escobar was killed in his country, Colombia in retaliation for scoring an own-goal during the 1994 FIFA World Cup against the United States which saw Colombia eliminated from the tournament. He was shot six times with a .38 caliber pistol by three men at a parking lot.

Phil O'Donnell
Phil O’Donnell

8). Phil O’Donnell was a Scottish footballer who died on the 29th of December 2007 after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Motherwell during a game against Dundee United at the age of 35.

Serhiy Perkhun
Serhiy Perkhun Photo by Alexander Fedorov, “SE”

9). Serhiy Perkhun, a Ukrainian footballer died on the 28th of August 2001 due to injuries sustained during a game while playing in the Russian Premier League after colliding with a player. It was later discovered that he had suffered brain hemorrhage.

Marc-Vivien Foe of Cameroon running with the ball
LYON – JUNE 26: Marc-Vivien Foe of Cameroon running with the ball during the Confederations Cup Semi-Final match between Colombia and Cameroon on June 26, 2003 at the Stade Gerland in Lyon, France. Cameroon won the match 1-0. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

10). Marc-Vivien Foe was a Cameroonian midfielder who had a successful playing career with West Ham, Manchester City and Lyon. Foé died on the 26th of June 2003 after collapsing during a 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup semi final match against the United States. Autopsy discovered evidence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as cause of death.

Gary Speed (Image: Daily Mirror)

11). Gary Speed was a Welsh professional footballer and manager. On the 27th of November, his wife Louise found his body hanged in the garage of his home. He was reported to have committed suicide. He played for Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield United.

Herman Gaviria Photo: Archivo EL TIEMPO

12). Hernan Gaviria was a Colombian central midfielder who died on the 24th of October 2002 after he was hit by lightning during a practice session.

Miklos Feher

13). Miklos Feher was a Hungarian professional footballer who played as a striker for Benfica. He died after suffering a cardiac arrest after coming on as a substitute on 25th January 2004.

Luyanda Ntshangase

14). Luyanda Ntshangase was a South African footballer who died on the 4th of May 2018 after being struck by lightning during a match for his club Maritzburg United.

Mohamed Abdelwahab
Mohamed Abdelwahab

15). Mohamed Abdelwahab was an Egyptian footballer who lost his life on the 31st of August 2006 during a training with his club Al Ahly. His death was as a result of heart failure.

Daniel Jarque

16). Daniel Jarque was a Spanish footballer who died tragically of heart attack at the age of 26 just a month after being named team captain of Espanyol.

Samuel Okwaraji

17). Samuel Okwaraji was a Nigerian footballer and a trained lawyer. He died on 12th August 1989 after suffering a congestive heart failure in the 77th minute during a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the Lagos National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State.

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