Croatian footballer Alen Pamić dies on pitch at 23 | inside World Soccer

Istra 1961 player Alen Pamić died at the age of 23 after suffering a heart attack during a small-pitch recreational game on Friday.

Alen Pamić is the 22nd professional footballer to die of heart condition in the last five years
Alen Pamić is the 22nd professional footballer to die of heart condition in the last five years

The son of Istra coach Igor Pamić and brother of Dinamo Zagreb player Zvonko Pamić, the 23-year-old had a history of heart problems and had collapsed on the field at least three times before.

Despite his problems, he insisted on continuing with his career and doctors allowed it.

A midfielder, Pamić spent the 2010/11 season with Belgian outfit Standard Liège, but he never got to debut after being released following his first collapse, in practice, when he had to be reanimated.

After a series of tests Pamić reportedly got the all-clear, but then in 2011 collapsed again.

Amazingly, Pamić returned to professional football in 2011 for Istra, and over the past two seasons he played 24 games in the Croatian top flight.

He played the last game for Istra in a match against Lokomotiva on February, when Pamić collapsed for the third time in his career, only to immediately walk off the pitch moments later.

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