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Anwar Ali (Jr) and five other footballers who have suffered heart scares

olive paul
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:50 IST

A heart condition has put Anwar Ali
A heart condition has put Anwar Ali's career in doubt.

Anwar Ali (Jr)’s career has come to a sudden halt. The promising defender has been diagnosed with a heart condition.

The 19-year-old centre-back first rose to prominence during the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup. Since then, Ali has made 34 I- League appearances for (AIFF)’s developmental team Indian Arrows in the last two seasons during his loan spell from Mumbai City FC.

Ali has been projected as the front-runner to take the central defender’s role in the Indian team, but recent developments has cast a serious doubt on his football career.

“Yes, a medical condition has been detected. We are in the process of taking him abroad for an expert opinion from someone who is renowned in similar cases. We’re arranging an appointment with top doctors in France, and will hopefully get a clear picture by the end of this month. We are communicating with Mumbai City in this regard,” said Abhishek Yadav, former India international and the All India Football Federation’s (AIFF) director of national teams.

Anwar Ali (Jr) is not the only football player to have suffered a heart scare.

One of the most known cases of such a catastrophe in football history is that of Cameroon international Marc-Vivien Foe. Foe died of heart attack while playing for the Indomitable Lions against Colombia in the semi-finals of the 2003 Confederations Cup.

Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas is the latest international player to have suffered a heart attack with his club FC Porto during a recent training session. While Anwar Ali’s exact condition is still unclear, football fans in India are hoping that Ali makes a quick recovery and returns to action soon.

Let’s look at five footballers who have suffered heart problems but returned to action after recovery.

#1. Nwankwo Kanu

Kanu had surgery in 1996, just weeks after he helped Nigeria win gold at the Olympics
Kanu had surgery in 1996, just weeks after he helped Nigeria win gold at the Olympics

The former Arsenal star’s first open-heart surgery was in 1996 after a routine medical examination at Inter Milan revealed a serious heart defect. Nwankwo Kanu returned to action following a six month recovery.

He would go on to win the Uefa Cup at Inter before moving to Arsenal, where he won two Premier Leagues and two FA Cups. Capped 86 times by Nigeria, he played for them at three World Cups and was twice named African player of the year.

Kanu ‘s heart problem inspired him to setup the Kanu Heart Foundation in 2000. The foundation has saved countless lives of children from underprivileged backgrounds in Africa.

The former striker currently works as an ambassador for the Nigeria Football Federation and he also works for Fifa as an ambassador.

Kanu in action for the Gunners.
Kanu in action for the Gunners.
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Published 24 Oct 2019, 12:10 IST
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