Football fans across the world were shocked this week when 24-year-old Hungarian football player Miklos Fehér (seen here carrying teammate Petit) dropped dead after suffering a heart attack while playing for Benfica FC against Guimarães at the Estádio D Afonso Henriques. The stadium fell completely silent as the young footballer fell to the ground. Paramedics raced to help and fans and football players cheered when Fehér appeared to recover. However, doctors later confirmed he had suffered a second heart attack on the pitch. Shortly afterwards, Fehér was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead as hundreds of fans gathered outside the hospital and cried in the rain.
Fehér was considered a hero in his home country and was a rising star in Portugal. He was voted player of the year in Hungary in the year 2000. Live television footage of the game was being transmitted across the world and, like many, the young star’s parents were watching their son play from a bar in Hungary, accompanied by friends and family members, including Fehér’s fiancée, only to see his death live on TV. The government immediately opened an inquiry to determine the cause of the player’s death, but the autopsy has so far proved to be inconclusive. Meanwhile, footballers, politicians and fans have expressed their shock and sorrow at the tragic death. President Jorge Sampaio has sent his condolences to Benfica president, Luís Filipe Vieira, saying: “I’m truly, deeply sorry for the tragic death of Miklos Fehér and I want you, his family and his teammates to know how much he will be missed.”