Yesterday, an Indian soccer played collapsed and died on the field during a local league game in the city of Bangalore. The 27-year-old midfielder, named D. Venkatesh, collapsed near the end of the game after he joined the match as a substitute during the game’s 73rd minute. Doctors believe he died of a cardiac arrest. No ambulance was on-site to transport the player to the Hosmat Hospital; instead he was transported in a three-wheel auto-rickshaw.
“Maybe if he had been given oxygen or proper medical care at the time of the incident, he could have stood a chance,” said Dr. Ajith Benedict Royan, a doctor at the hospital where Venkatesh was taken.
This death follows the near-death of another soccer player last week. On Saturday, March 17, 23-year-old Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the field during a FA Cup match against Tottenham. Doctors have reported that the player’s heart was stopped for a full 78 minutes before it began showing activity again. Medics tried unsuccessfully for 48 minutes to revive Muamba before he was taken to the London Chest Hospital. There, he was shocked with a defibrillator 15 times. Following what has been diagnosed as a cardiac arrest, Muamba likely survived because of the excellent emergency care he received. As of Monday, he was breathing independently and speaking; yet he still has a long road of recovery ahead of him.
Veteran soccer star Ronaldinho, along with Barcelona player Dani Alves and Chelsea defender David Luiz, has been named as a member of a preliminary Brazilian soccer team for the 2012 London Olympics. According to Olympic rules, only three players over the age of 23 can be included on the final 18-person squad; Ronaldinho is 31, Alves is 28 and Luiz is 24. The preliminary team, coached by Mano Menezes, lists 52 players, including younger players like Milan forward Alexandre Pato, Tottenham’s Sadro and Man U defender Rafael.
Menezes will cut the squad down to 35 in June and will make his final selection on July 6. As a team, the Brazilian squad will play in the Olympic tournament held from July 26 to August 11. This means that players on the team who are also members of European club teams will miss their clubs’ pre-season camps. Missing pre-season training for a chance to win an Olympic gold (the only major prize in the world of professional soccer that the country has not won)? We say that’s ok.
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Though it’s not the Fourth of July, today’s SoccerInferno news will have readers feeling especially patriotic. For the first time ever, the U.S. Men’s soccer team beat Italy in a historic match held Wednesday night. Clint Dempsy scored the game’s singular goal during the 55th minute. This is the American’s first win over the Azzuri in their 11 meetings spanning 78 years.
“It’s a work in progress,” Dempsy said about the victory. “I’d like to think that we’re closing the gap and hopefully we can do something special.”
American soccer has made advances in the past decade but has slipped in recent years. In 1990, the team made its first World Cup appearance in 40 years; in 2002 they advanced to the quarterfinals. In both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup tournaments, the team lost early to Ghana (first and second round respectively). Last June, the Americans lost to Mexico in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, their regional championship. In July, the U.S. Soccer Federation replaced Coach Bob Bradley with Jurgen Klinsmann.
So does the win mean a change in luck for the team?
“Obviously as a coach you’re pleased because you see them progressing, you see young players stepping up and playing against these amazing, experienced Italian players who have won the World Cup and played big tournaments year in and year out,” Klinsmann, a former German national team star player and coach, said. “Obviously it was a big step for us.”
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