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Old 29th August 2007, 09:45   #1
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Default Sevilla's Antonio Puerta dies in hospital

Sevilla's Antonio Puerta dies in hospital
By Mark Elkington and Simon Baskett
Telegraph 29/08/2007

Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta, one of Spain's most promising young players, died on Tuesday three days after collapsing during a Primera Liga match.

The 22-year-old Spanish international had been in a critical condition in the Virgen del Rocio hospital in Seville since suffering a heart attack on Saturday.

Sevilla said that Puerta's body would be taken to the club's Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where fans could pay their respects, and that he would be buried tomorrow.

Puerta had been due to become a father for the first time in six weeks' time.

Sevilla's Champions League third qualifying round second leg against AEK Athens, in Greece, last night was postponed but Friday's European Super Cup against AC Milan could still go ahead.

Uefa's William Gaillard said: "Friday's game goes ahead at the moment but we will transform the game into a tribute to Antonio Puerta. Of course, we will respect the Sevilla players if they feel they do not want to play, but we hope that this can be a dedication to their former team-mate."

Puerta collapsed after jogging back towards his own goal 35 minutes into the game against Getafe.

Team-mates and medical staff prevented him from swallowing his tongue and he was able to walk from the pitch.

However, he collapsed again in the changing rooms and had to be resuscitated before being taken to hospital.
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