Saturday, 2nd February, 2013

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Doni has revealed the reason for his long absence from the Anfield club, explaining that he suffered a heart attack in July 2012.

Doni’s contract at Liverpool was terminated by mutual consent last week, leaving the former Roma shot-stopper to head back to his native Brazil to sign for Botafogo-SP.

For a long period this season, Reds’ fans wondered what had happened to Doni, and now the player has lifted the lid on exactly what befell him on Merseyside.

"I was in one of the tests and I had a cardiac arrest. I was unconscious for 25 seconds and I almost went to the other side", he told Globo Esporte, speaking about when he headed to Liverpool for a medical in July 2012, before pre-season, after returning from his holidays.


"From there, I went to London, I did several tests, but there was no sequel. Then I was sent to Rome, where there is one of the best doctors in Europe, who had looked after me for six years.

"After further examinations the doctors asked me to stay for a few more months."

And Doni did not get good news in Italy, with the doctor not ready to let him play football again straight away.

"He said to me ‘I cannot stop you playing football, but I won’t sign a release for you to play. I encourage you not to play any more.’

"And he said that over time I could return to practicing professionally."

The Brazilian goalkeeper also explained that it took him a long time to come to terms with what happened to him.

"I was ill for three months and I had difficulty sleeping. Who knows why that happened, it is a horrible feeling.

"When you come back, it seems like you were asleep for 100 years. It was a period that affected my psychologically, but after a few months it passed and now everything is normal."

Doni does admit he now looks at life differently and also insists that being away from Brazil was not easy for himself or his family. Now back at Botafogo-SP, Doni plans to get ready to return to action by 2014, which he plans to be his final season as a professional.

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