Kun Agüero leaves professional football: what illness led him to make this decision?

The Argentine footballer of Barcelona FC abandons his professional career. What are the medical reasons behind this decision?

Last update: December 15, 2021

Sergio Kun Agüero announced that he is leaving his career as a professional footballer for the heart disease he suffers. Between tears, the athlete announced the decision made after the medical advice he received.

In a press conference marked by emotion, the 33-year-old Argentine explained to the press that there were not many other alternatives. The risk of continuing to compete, with the demands of elite matches and training sessions, could lead to an event greater than the one recorded on October 30 of this year.

On that occasion, Agüero threw himself on the floor of the playing field while the match between Barcelona FC and Alavés was being played. It was minute 40 and felt short of breath, dizziness, and neck discomfort. It was the warning of what was to come.

What happened in the game against Alavés

On October 30, Sergio Kun Agüero began the course that would lead him to the decision to leave professional football due to heart disease. In that meeting, the athlete had to withdraw from the stadium due to severe discomfort that they did not let him continue.

No one had injured him or an incident with another player had been recorded. But the Argentine had symptoms that did not allow him to remain standing. The result that we knew after the studies was that he was affected by an arrhythmia.

Barcelona FC itself reported on its account TwitterAlmost immediately, Agüero had chest discomfort and that they would do cardiological studies at a hospital. Shortly after, the information was completed stating that the diagnosis was arrhythmia, that the doctor in charge of diagnosis and treatment was Dr. Josep Brugada and that there would be a 3-month evaluation to determine recovery.

The time required to establish the prognosis was less than those 90 days established in the beginning. The Kun He has already announced his retirement because the data collected is sufficient to make this decision.

Arrhythmias can be benign or malignant. The latter are particularly risky and require urgent attention.


What illness does the footballer have?

The disease of Kun Aguero that makes him leave professional football is an arrhythmia. Anyway, it is worth clarifying that there are different types of presentation of this pathology.

An arrhythmia is a pathological change in the heartbeat. It may be that the organ presents a higher or lower frequency, or that there are intermediate interruptions and the interval between each systole is not adequate. Sometimes a benign condition without relevance is constituted, but other times there is a serious life risk.

The particular situation of the Argentine soccer player is of a malignant arrhythmia. These are the ones that represent a problem that must be treated yes or yes, as they can lead to cardiorespiratory arrest.

In general, malignant arrhythmias are those that originate in the ventricles of the heart. To the Kun Agüero detected a kind of mark or scar on his heart muscle that functioned as an electrical source. That is, this focus generated extra beats that altered the normal rhythm.

Once the diagnosis was confirmed, the medical team defined a therapy that consists of eliminating the focus, in a millimeter way, with heat. This is known as cardiac ablation and is based on the use of hot energy.

One could say that the treatment for the player was successful. In successive tests after the intervention, no new arrhythmias were detected.

In any case, the professionals suggested that he stop practicing professional sports as a precaution. There was a high possibility that he would not develop episodes in the future, but it is also true that the demands at this level are extreme and the overloading of the heart muscle is something to be expected.



What is the origin of this arrhythmia?

It is not yet possible to determine the causes of the disease of Kun Aguero that forces him to leave professional football. It is not known if there is a genetic predisposition or if he suffers from a coronary condition that explains it.

Nor can the condition be attributed to training or professional career. In reality, although it may seem otherwise due to media relevance, arrhythmias that lead to sudden death in athletes do not have a high incidence. There is no significant difference in prevalence compared to the rest of the population that does not exercise professionally.

It is the patient who plays sports who has these pathologies, but sports are not usually directly responsible for them.

Too the theory circulated that this would be a sequel to COVID-19 in the Argentine player, who was isolated by close contact and later confirmed his infection earlier this year. For now, neither the relationship nor the link can be asserted.

There are several reports of arrhythmias and myocarditis in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. It would be a not very frequent sequel, but possible in certain groups of people. It has also been speculated that the virus reactivates pre-existing heart disorders.

Anyway, for Agüero these hypotheses are not confirmed. It is something that will be studied, but for now there are no arguments to certify it.

Arrhythmias have different origins. Sometimes there is a genetic problem, while in other cases it is changes in the structure of the heart.

Kun Agüero’s future after leaving professional football

Now that he is leaving professional football due to illness, the Kun Agüero has to accommodate his career to the new reality. The player has stated that he will take time to reorganize his life and continue to be linked to the sport from another place.

However, the issue with his pathology does not end in the abandonment of elite parties. You will have to continue with periodic check-ups to detect a possible recurrence of your arrhythmia.

Routines will also be established according to your risk. In other words, no matter how much you practice soccer in an amateur way from now on, you will not be able to do it at high intensities. Nor will you be allowed any training exercises.

Cardiac arrhythmias are a problem to consider. Although we are dealing with benign forms, consultation with a cardiologist is always a priority. The specialist will carry out the pertinent complementary methods and will know if it is necessary to establish a treatment or not.

For athletes it can be a shock to learn that they cannot continue with certain activities. But as Agüero made clear at the press conference: Health is first.

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