Football has once again been rocked to its core after the shock death of Livorno's on-loan midfielder Piermario Morosini.
The 25-year-old suffered a heart attack during a Serie ‘B’ match against Pescara, collapsing on the floor after 31 minutes of a now insignificant match.
Morosini leaves behind a disabled sister who was being supported by the player both financially and emotionally, with the pair’s parents dying before the player reached the age of 18.
The additional factors only serve to make Morosini’s death even harder to take, although Udinese have already stepped forward to confirm they will take care of all financial aspects relating to the player’s sister.
"We know the situation of his sister and we as a team, the club, and Udinese for Life have decided to help her because she is in real need," captain Antonio Di Natale told the club's TV channel.
Morosini started his career at Udinese in 2005, was sold to Vicenza in 2007 and then returned to the Zebrette two years later. He didn’t make a senior appearance with the club after his return to the Stadio Friuli, but played for four different teams on loan before Saturday’s tragedy.
The death comes only a month after Fabrice Muamba’s collapse on the pitch during an FA Cup tie between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hart Lane.
The former England youth international’s cardiac arrest was a timely reminder that professional football does have its risks for players, with Morosini not the first to lose his life - and realistically he won't be the last either.
Marc Vivien-Foe, who played for West Ham United during a stint in the Premier League, died during a match for Cameroon in 2003, whilst Antonio Puerta lost his life in 2007 after collapsing on the pitch against Getafe during a match for Sevilla in the Spanish top flight.
Medical improvements have been made, and players are well looked after by staff in football’s modern era.
However, things can always be better, and reports that an ambulance was prevented from getting onto the pitch on Saturday in Italy because a police car blocked its entrance only serve to remind of the need for constant attention to detail when it comes to safety.
The facts show that the quicker a player receives attention, the greater chance they have of survival.
That was certainly the case for Muamba, who left hospital earlier today thankful to the quick thinking and reactions of the medical staff who helped save his life on March 17th.
Thoughts of a footballing community once again sit with a family - and more pressingly a sister - who have lost one of their own.
Italian football will make their tributes next weekend, with all players wearing the No.25 in memory of the former Italian U21 midfielder.
Improvements in medical attention at matches would be a true legacy for Morosini though.
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