(ATR) Alfredo Quintana, considered one of the best handball goalkeepers in the world, has died at age 32.
FC Porto, the club he played for in Portugal, announced his death on Friday.
"Our dearest Alfredo Quintana passed away today. You’ll always be remembered as one of ours. A true Dragon. May you Rest In Peace," the club said on its Twitter account.
On Monday, the Cuban-Portuguese player had suffered a heart attack during training with the club.
The athlete was intubated and put in an induced coma. He was transferred to the São João Hospital, after having been in cardiopulmonary arrest for more than 30 minutes, according to the Portuguese press.
The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, commented on Quintana's death in a message published on the official website of the Presidency.
The Portuguese president recalled that Quintana "was born in Cuba, but became naturalized Portuguese and earned unusual respect and admiration among his companions."
"Handball and Portuguese sport are poorer with this game of which everyone is horrified," he wrote.
The Portuguese Olympic Committee recalled that Quintana was included to play the pre-Olympic tournament with the national team in the coming weeks after having been a key player in Portugal's sixth place finish in the 2020 European Championship and 10th place finish in the 2021 World Cup in Egypt, the best results for the country in both competitions.
The Portuguese State Secretariat for Youth and Sports and numerous sports federations inside and outside Portugal also expressed their condolences including Cuban federation.
"A warrior who left us too early," said the European Handball Federation.
The International Handball Federation (IHF) and its president Hassan Moustafa also mourned the sudden death of Quintana.
In tribute, FC Porto decided to retire the number 1 jersey and it will not be used again in the team.
According to local reports, Quintana's mother had traveled to Portugal from Cuba to be with her son.
After playing for the Cuban national team in the 2009 World Cup in Croatia and in the Pan American Championship in Chile in 2010, Alfredo Eduardo Quintana Bravo left the Caribbean team and settled in Portugal in 2011, signing with FC Porto. After naturalizing he made his debut in 2014 with the Portuguese national team.
Quintana won six championships, one Portuguese Cup and two Super Cups with FC Porto. The 2.01 meter (6 feet, 7 inches) goalkeeper, who would have turned 33 on March 20, played 71 games for the national team.
It is the second premature death of a Cuban handball goalkeeper. In 2004 Vladimir Rivero, 33, was found dead in his apartment in Pamplona, Spain, due to an aneurysm in the aortic artery.
Written by Miguel Hernandez
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