Former Uruguay defender Fabian O’Neill, hailed by Zidane as ‘most talented player ever’, dies at 49


Former Uruguay and Cagliari defender Fabian O’Neill, who was once hailed by Zinedine Zidane as one of the ‘most talented players’ he’d ever seen, dies at the age of 49 after battle with chronic liver disease

  • Fabian O’Neill has died at the age of 49 after a battle with chronic liver disease
  • The former Cagliari and Juventus defender was admitted to hospital on Saturday
  • He earned 19 caps for Uruguay and was in attendance at the 2002 World Cup 
  • He made his senior club debut for Nacional in 1996 before moving to Cagliari 

Former Uruguay and Cagliari defender Fabian O’Neill has died at the age of 49 after a battle with chronic liver disease. 

According to the Uruguayan Football Federation, O’Neill, who had 19 caps for the national side, was admitted to hospital on Saturday in a coma, after suffering a hemorrhage. 

The South American, who was once, according to France24, hailed by football icon Zinedine Zidane as one of the ‘talented players’ that the Frenchman had ever seen, had struggled with alcoholism in the past. 

Ex-Uruguay defender Fabian O’Neill (right) has died at 49 after battle with chronic liver disease

After making his senior debut for Club Nacional in 1996 at the mere age of 18, the defender moved to Italy to play for Cagliari. 

He would spend three seasons at Cagliari, scoring 16 goals across 136 games, before moving to Juventus in 2000 where he would go on to win the Serie A with the Old Lady. 

After playing 20 times for the Turin giants, O’Neill left to join Perugia, before returning back to Cagliari in 2002. 

O'Neill played 19 times for Uruguay and travelled to the 2002 World Cup but didn't play

O’Neill played 19 times for Uruguay and travelled to the 2002 World Cup but didn’t play

The defender would also travel as part of the Uruguay squad to the South Korea and Japan World Cup, but did not make an appearance at the tournament.   

He remained in Italy for one more year before returning back to Uruguay to play for Nacional, where he retired in 2003. 

Tributes have been flooding in for the defender, with Uruguayan news outlet, El Pais writing: “Uruguayan football is in mourning. 

‘One of the best players to emerge in recent decades and who knew how to shine on the field with his talent and magic has left us.’

His former club Cagliari also took to Twitter to pay tribute to the defender: ‘Proud to have been able to admire your genius up close: pure, crystalline, like the most precious diamonds. 

‘You made us fall in love with your class, Cagliari has never stopped loving its Wizard with the No.10 on his shoulders.’ 

The defender (R) would go on to play in Italy for most of his career for Cagliari and Juventus

The defender (R) would go on to play in Italy for most of his career for Cagliari and Juventus

Advertisement





Source link

Denial of responsibility! planetcirculate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.