Cristiano Ronaldo had heart operation to save career | inside World Soccer

Cristiano Ronaldo had heart operation to save career

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cristiano Ronaldo had to have a heart operation when he was just 15 years old to save his footballing career.

Doctors diagnosed a 'racing heart' when Ronaldo was in his mid-teens and it was feared the Portuguese winger would have to give up playing.

He was a promising young player with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon when the problem emerged.

But he was whipped into hospital for delicate laser surgery which cured the problem.

His mum Dolores Aveiro told The Sun: "His heart raced a lot when he wasn’t running.

"The people in charge at Sporting alerted me and I went to Portugal where I had to sign some papers and authorise him being treated in hospital.

"They used a sort of laser to cauterise the source of the problem. He was operated on in the morning and came out at the end of the afternoon.

"Before we knew exactly what he had, I was worried because there was the possibility of him giving up playing football.

"But the treatment went well and after some days he was back at training again.

"Cristiano wasn’t very worried — he didn’t take the situation very seriously — but I got a big fright."

Over the years several top players have been victims in heart tragedies.

Former Manchester City midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe died while playing for Cameroon in 2003, while Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta and Benfica’s Miklos Feher also suffered fatal heart attacks on the pitch.

France World Cup winner Lilian Thuram retired last year because of a heart problem.

However, fortunately for Ronaldo, delicate laser surgery cured his problem and enabled him to become the world's No 1 player.

"It seems the treatment allowed him to run even faster!" Mrs Dolores joked.

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