Surprising statements made by German Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer about his unspecified early skin cancer and having to undergo three surgeries to recover from it, highlighting a long legacy of cases in the world of football in the same way.
Months ago and in a resounding shock, German club Borussia Dortmund announced on Monday, July 18 that its new striker Sebastian Haller had testicular cancer .
Haller, 28, joined Borussia Dortmund from Ajax during the summer transfer window, after an amazing season with the Dutch club, especially after scoring 11 goals in the Champions League competitions.
Borussia Dortmund issued an official statement on its website to reveal the injury of the Ivory Coast striker.
The statement confirmed that the player has already returned to Dortmund, and that Haller will undergo further tests in the coming days at a specialized medical center.
After cancer turned into a disease of the age, many former and current players and coaches have been exposed to one type or another of it.
And perhaps Haller should feel a little optimistic, because most of those who contracted the disease managed to defy it, despite its severity, and came back stronger than ever.
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Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal shocked the football community when he announced he had prostate cancer.
Van Gaal, 70, revealed that he had prostate cancer last April, during Dutch TV show “Humberto”.
The veteran Dutch coach is currently undergoing treatment, but despite this, he will continue his career with the Netherlands national team, which is preparing to participate in the 2022 World Cup, where he will move away from the training of “The Mills” after the World Cup, and Ronald Koeman will take over the task instead.
Francesco Acerbi, defender of the Italian club Lazio, lived a story of struggle and suffering with cancer.
Acerby beat cancer twice, and each time he came back stronger to play football normally.
Acerbee began his battle against cancer in June 2013, and was accidentally discovered while undergoing a medical examination to join Sassuolo.
After undergoing surgery to remove the tumor and an extensive treatment program, he was able to recover and return, and Sassuolo activated his contract.
But Acerby’s career received a new shock in December 2013, when a cancerous tumor recurred, and he underwent chemotherapy.
After four months of intensive treatment, his recovery was announced, but he returned to football after nearly a year.
Serbian coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, coach of the Italian club Bologna and one of the former Inter stars, suffered from leukemia.
Mihajlovic suffered from leukemia from July 2019 to January 2020, before recovering and returning to football.
But last March, Mihajlovic again announced he was back in hospital to undergo a new round of treatment for leukemia.
He said at the time: “This disease is too brave to come back to face someone like me again.”
Eric Abidal, the former Barcelona star, suffered from cancer in March 2011, to undergo surgery to remove a malignant tumor in his liver.
After the surgery was successful, Abidal returned to the field after just 40 days, lifting the 2011 Champions League trophy with the Catalan club.
In 2012, the cancer returned to attack Abidal’s liver again, and this time it had to be completely removed and a donor was found.
Abidal had the surgery in April 2012, but he was out of action until April 2013, to continue his career with Barcelona until the end of the season.
Abidal moved to Monaco in the summer of 2013, to continue his career before announcing his retirement in December 2014.
At a very early stage in his career, Dutch star Arjen Robben was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The Bayern Munich legend was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 20, coinciding with his move to English club Chelsea in 2004.
Robben managed to overcome the disease, and return to help Chelsea win the English Premier League during the 2004-2005 season.
Robben continued his brilliant career with Real Madrid, then during his golden period with Bayern Munich and until his retirement in 2021.
Although Spain coach Luis Enrique did not suffer from cancer, his catastrophe was great because of it.
After taking over the Spain national team in July 2018, Enrique decided to leave the national team for personal reasons, which was to try to save his nine-year-old daughter from bone cancer, but Enrique was not lucky, after his daughter died in August 2019.
Despite the tragedy, Enrique returned to lead the Spanish national team, and “La Roja” is currently going through a wonderful period with him.
Former Argentina international Jonas Gutierrez was diagnosed with testicular cancer in the summer of 2013 during his time with Newcastle United.
The Argentine initially refused to reveal his injury, before announcing in an interview with an Argentine media outlet about the matter.
However, Gutierrez made a full recovery from cancer and returned to playing football normally with Newcastle in March 2014.
Gutierrez announced his retirement in November 2021, after a trip with a number of Argentine clubs.
Germaine Burgos was one of the most famous assistant coaches in the Spanish League, as he contributed greatly to the revolution of Atlético Madrid under the leadership of his compatriot Diego Simeone.
Burgos was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2003, when he was thirty-three years old, and underwent immediate surgery, to return to football again.
And Burgos revealed in 2017, during an interview with the Spanish newspaper “Mundo Deportivo”, that many people who contracted the disease contact him for advice.
Gianluca Vialli, the legend of Italy and the current member of the coaching staff of the Italian national team, fought a long battle with cancer that lasted 17 months and succeeded in defeating it in 2020.
Vialli had pancreatic cancer in 2017, and announced in April 2020 that he had fully recovered from the disease, but he admitted last December that the disease had come back again.
Veteran German goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, revealed that he suffered from skin cancer during the last period, and that he had to undergo several surgeries to get rid of it.
There were many rumors circulating for a long time about the illness of the Bayern Munich star a few months ago, without any information about the nature of the crisis that the player is suffering from.
“The condition I was suffering from was skin cancer on the face, which prompted me to perform three surgeries,” Neuer told German newspaper Bild.
He added: “Since we train and play outside all the time and also like to spend our free time outside the house, masks had to be used sometimes to protect the face from the sun.”