Sportsmen who beat cancer - MARCA in English
I t will be a long struggle for Athletic Club's 21-year-old defender Yeray Alvarez who on Friday was confirmed to have a testicular tumour yet the young star can take solace from the long list of athletes who have overcome the disease.
Jose Francisco Molina: The Spanish goalkeeper turned out for Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna yet in 2002 was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had to leave the game on a temporary basis. In a situation not too dissimilar to Yeray's, the disease was caught early at the stopper only missed 10 months before announcing he won his battle and returned to action at the Estadio de Riazor.
German 'Mono' Burgos: Atletico Madrid's Argentine stopper was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer in his kidneys during his career with it widely acknowledge his habit of smoking from an early age being the direct cause. He managed to overcome the ailment and return to the game before eventually retiring and now forming part of Diego Simeone's coaching staff at the club.
Luboslav Penev: During the 1993/94 season with Valencia, Penev had to miss a whole year in order to battle against testicular cancer. The Bulgarian forward was forced to miss the 1994 World Cup in the United States but thankfully was able to return to the game before signing for Los Colchoneros in 1995 and winning the domestic league and cup double that season.
Sergio Aragoneses: The Spanish shot-stopper was unfortunate enough to have to battle cancer on two separate occasions with the first coming in 2005 and the second just two years later in 2007. Aragoneses underwent a strenuous chemotherapy campaign in order to recover and continues to play football to this day aged 39.
Ebbe Sand: Following his participation in
the 1998 World Cup the Danish striker was diagnosed with testicular cancer and there was a significant fear it would force him to retire prematurely. However that wasn't the case as he quickly returned following surgery and went on to have a strong career with Schalke.
Lance Armstrong: Perhaps the most high profile case is that of the American cyclist who overcame testicular cancer at 25 years old whilst brain and lung metastases were also found. Chemotherapy and numerous surgeries helped save his life and the 'Livestrong' movement was born.
David Ca�ada: Skin cancer was the illness which struck the Spanish cyclist in 2008 and Ca�ada was forced to leave the sport for a short period. He was away for a single season before returning, although he ended his career in 2010 after having overcome cancer.
Doc Rivers: The current Los Angeles Clippers head coach had a brief cancer scare back in 2011 when it was thought he may have a form of the disease in his throat. However he announced that the results of a biopsy showed negative results and he was clear of carcinogenic symptoms.
Bogdan Tanjevic: At the end of 2010 the Fenerbahce basketball coach was forced to stop his career after being diagnosed with colon cancer. What was so inspiring about the current Montenegro national coach was that he set a date for his return to the sport.
Nene Hilario: Drafted as the 7th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks, the Brazilian Power Forward was found to have a testicular tumour in 2008. He had to retire temporarily to recover from his illness but he missed just three months before returning to the court and Nene now sees it as his duty to help others who have been afflicted with the disease.