Former Hertha Berlin striker Alex Alves loses battle with Leukaemia
Former Hertha Berlin striker Alex Alves has died in Brazil after losing his four-year battle with Leukaemia.
The 37-year-old, who scored against Barcelona in a Champions League clash in 2000, was diagnosed with the illness in 2007 and despite treatment his condition worsened in the last few months.
The news was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Amaral Carvalho cancer clinic in Jau, São Paulo, where Alves had received treatment and reportedly underwent a bone marrow transplantation.
Michael Preetz, Hertha’s sporting director and former teammate, said: "I'm completely shocked.
"We at Hertha had hoped that his condition would improve as a result of the stem cell treatment and that he'd pull through this serious situation.
"We are deeply shocked and our thoughts are with his family."
Alves joined Hertha from Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte in 2000 and played for the Berlin club until 2003 when he returned to play for several clubs in Brazil.