Croatian football has been hit by the heartbreaking tragedy after the young talent collapsed midway through a training session with outfit NK Nehaj Sinj
Croatian footballer Marin Cacic has tragically died three days after being placed into a coma following his sudden collapse at training with his side NK Nehaj Sinj.
After he collapsed during the session, he was immediately rushed to a hospital where the 23-year-old was diagnosed with heart failure.
He was then put in a comatose state as doctors fought tirelessly to save the young man’s life, though their efforts sadly failed and Cacic was pronounced dead on December, 23.
Before his death was announced, his current side released a message on Facebook sending their thoughts and well-wishes to the bleak situation, writing: “Marin, Senj and your Nehaj are with you!!!
“Just fight, because you only know that way!! I know very well that there is no difference between training and a game to you, but add gas to this “game” and win!!!”
Unfortunately, his club would later confirm his passing on social media.
Born in Gospić in 1998, Cacic was a highly-rated central defender who has since been the subject of touching tributes from both friends and former teammates.
In the early stages of his playing career, Cacic was enrolled at a youth school for gifted players in Rijeka, though he did not make the grade there and instead arrived in Nehaj in 2017 aged 19.
At such a young age, Cacic had already enjoyed an impressive career that had taken him to multiple different countries.
The defender originally left Nehaj in August of 2018 to ply his trade for Italian minnows Isernia, spending one season in Serie D before returning to his home country to play for NK Trnje Zagreb, though he spent even less time there.
He rejoined Nehaj for the second time just six months after arriving in Zagreb, lasting 12 months with the club before signing with NK Jedinstvo.
Cacic played for Nehaj across three separate stints, re-joining for a third and final time in August of this year, before tragedy struck just four months later.
One of his former clubs, Bosniana side NK Jedinstvo, paid tribute to Cacic, writing on their website: “Rest in peace, Marin, forever in our hearts.”
European football has seen a number of notable players collapse during games in the past year, including Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest during Denmark’s opening game of Euro 2020.
Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck also fell to the turf unchallenged during a recent Championship clash, though was not in as drastic a situation as Eriksen.
A recent Champions League clash between Sheriff Tiraspol and Real Madrid saw winger Adama Traore collapse to the turf clutching his chest, pitch-side medics instantly rushing on to treat the Mali international.