Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Doni reveals heart attack led to absence
Ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Alexander Doni has revealed that he almost died after his heart stopped beating during a routine medical at the Anfield club.
The Brazilian recently joined Botafago SP in his native country on a free transfer, after his Liverpool contract was terminated on transfer deadline day.
The 33-year-old has now revealed that his time with the Reds came very close to being ended due to medical problems.
He told Globoesporte.com: "I was taking the medical exams [at Liverpool, during pre-season in 2012] and I had a cardio-respiratory arrest.
"I was unconscious for 25 seconds and almost went 'to the other side'.
"After that, I went to London and had several exams that confirmed I didn't have any sequels. Then they sent me back to Rome, where one of the finest doctors in Europe took care of me for six years.
"After yet another load of exams, the doctors asked me to stay a few more months on the sidelines."
Doni, who only made four appearances during two years on Merseyside, was advised by medical professionals to never play football again, which had a huge effect on his personal life.
He added: "I was really down for three months, I had trouble sleeping. Anyone who's gone through that knows what a horrible feeling it is.
"When you return, it feels like you haven't slept for years. That time affected me deeply psychologically, but after a few months, it was over, and now I'm back to normal.
"It's hard to talk. It's a moment when you stop and think. You end up giving more value to life, to your family, your kids, you just want to stay close to your family. Then you stop, think and you realise what are the real important things in life."