Early retirement – Agüero is yet another player forced to end his career prematurely due to heart problems

We look at other players whose careers were shortened by the same problem.

Sergio Aguero, an Argentine striker, announced his retirement from football on December 15th, citing heart issues as the reason. After developing an arrhythmia and being forced to be substituted in the first half of a game against Alavés in October, while playing for Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga, the player had to make an early decision.

During a tearful press appearance, the prolific striker announced his retirement. He spent ten years of his career at Manchester City, scoring 260 goals becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer. He only made four appearances for the Catalan club, scoring once against Real Madrid, the Spanish club’s arch-rivals.

“Kun,” as the player is known, is the latest athlete to suffer from cardiac problems during his career; some cases are temporary, while others may be controlled. We’ll discuss similar situations of affected players from around the world, as well as from Brazil.


  • Iker Casillas


The former Real Madrid and Spanish International goalkeeper felt ill in training while playing for Porto in Portugal. He was later diagnosed with a myocardial infarction and had cardiac catheterization, but it didn’t stop him from retiring at the age of 39 in 2020. Iker Casillas was a member of the World Cup-winning team in 2010.

  • Christian Eriksen
christian eriksen

Marco Bertorello/AFP

In June of this year, the 33-year-old Danish midfielder collapsed on the pitch during a European cup match, necessitating a heart massage after receiving medical treatment for a “sudden ailment.” The midfielder’s heart had to be implanted with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD), forcing him out of action till today and terminating his Inter Milan contract when he was unable to kick another ball. The number ten is expected to announce his retirement from the game in the near future.

  • Marc-Vivien Foé
marc vivien foe

Getty Images

In the 2003 Confederations Cup, the former Cameroon midfielder collapsed in a semi-final match against Colombia while defending his country’s colors. He was taken to the medical center after doctors failed to revive him, and he died of a massive heart attack hours later. He was only 28 years old when he died while playing for Manchester City in England.

  • Miklos Feher
miklos feher


In 2004, the Hungarian forward died on the pitch while playing for Benfica in a Portuguese Championship match against Vitória de Guimares. His shirt is on display at the club’s museum, and he has never been forgotten by the Portuguese club. According to the medical report, he had a heart arrhythmia caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. At the time, he was only 24 years old.

In Brasil

  • Washington


The Striker earned the nickname “braveheart” after undergoing catheterization and angioplasty in November 2002 while playing for Fenerbahçe in Turkey. He was able to continue his work without any big growing concerns, earning him the nickname. He ended his career at Fluminense in 2010, when he was Brazilian champion, aged 35.

  • Doni


The former goalkeeper began suffering from cardiac arrhythmia in 2011, when he was playing for English club Liverpool. He has been aware of the issue since his time at Santos in 2004. He opted to retire early from Botafogo-SP in 2013, at the age of 34, due to the worsening of his cardiac conditions. After admitting to having a brown heart for 25 seconds while exercising, the athlete was advised to hang up his boots.

  • Adílson Warken

Alessandra Torres/Folhapress

After being diagnosed with a hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that would prevent him from playing, the former Grêmio and Atlético-MG midfielder retired from professional football at the age of 32 in 2019. Later in his career, he worked as a technical assistant for the Minas Gerais club and also served in the same role in Coritiba until April of this year.

About Sergio Agüero

Agüero began his career at Independiente in 2003 and stayed there until 2006. He was born in Buenos Aires on June 2, 1988. Between 2006 and 2011, he played for Atlético de Madrid, and between 2011 until 2021, he played for Manchester City. He is regarded as one of the greatest idols in the English club’s history.

The transition to Barça was extremely fast, with only four matches in 2021 before the fatal encounter that ended his career. He represented Argentina at the 2010 World Cup, 2014 World Cup, and 2018 World Cup. He was a gold medallist for his country in the 2008 Olympic Games and the Copa America 2021 champion.

He also won the 2010 Europa League with Atlético Madrid, as well as five English Premier League titles with Manchester City in 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019, and 2021.

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