De la Red admits defeat in heart battle

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The Independent Online

Real Madrid midfielder Ruben de la Red has been forced to end his playing career as a result of heart problems which first surfaced during a match two years ago.

The 25-year-old was a member of Spain's European Championship-winning squad in June 2008, but three months later he collapsed on the field 13 minutes into Madrid's Copa del Rey match against Real Union and has not played since.

De la Red has fought to remain a player but doctors advised him to stop. Madrid appointed him to their coaching staff yesterday.

Spanish football has been rocked in recent seasons by the deaths during games of the Seville defender Antonio Puerta and Espanyol captain Dani Jarque, both from heart failure.

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