Two more in past week alone.
In the past seven days, two high-profile footballers have collapsed on the field, continuing a trend that is described by some as 'the new normal'.
28-year-old Brazilian player Zé Carlos, from the club Ferroviário suffered what was called 'a sudden illness' while playing in a cup match last Wednesday. He was treated as the game went on, according to reports, and returned to the pitch for a short time before then collapsing and being rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
Reports following the incident say the player was later released from hospital and is recovering.
In another incident in Spain, 25-year-old Serbian defender Dragisa Gudelj collapsed on the pitch, suffering a cardiac arrest. Reports state that doctors performed CPR on the field managing to revive Gudelj. They treated him for seven minutes before taking him to the hospital. Other players were left in shock with some breaking down in tears. The game was abandoned after the incident.
The reports state that when Gudelj regained consciousness he wanted to carry on playing in the match. The player is now “stable” but under “close surveillance” in hospital.
In addition to these two incidents, earlier this month, an Ivorian defender for RC Abidjan, Moustapha Sylla, was not so fortunate as he sadly passed away after collapsing during a league game. He was just 21-years-old.
In Greece last month, a 20-year-old player from Karditsa suddenly collapsed without any contact with another footballer and later died in hospital. The ongoing spate of players experiencing heart problems, chest pains, and at worst collapsing and dying has led many to call for investigations into what is causing an apparent elevation of such incidents.