Former Barcelona assistant Unzue diagnosed with motor neurone disease, given four years to live

Former Celta boss and Barcelona assistant Juan Carlos Unzue, aged 53, has been diagnosed with motor neurone disease and been given four years to live.

The former goalkeeper played 318 La Liga matches in 17 seasons and was most famed for a seven-year playing stint at Sevilla before going into coaching.

He was number two to Luis Enrique at both Celta Vigo and Barcelona – being part of the staff to win the Champions League and two La Liga titles – following managerial stints at Numancia and Racing Santander.

Unzue was then at the helm in the Celta dugout in the 2017-18 campaign before being appointed at Girona at the start of the current campaign but left after just 12 matches at the helm.

“I just wanted to tell you that I have ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and that they have given me four years to live,” Unzue announced on Thursday.

“People have a great capacity to adapt to life. I have met other sick people who are very much eager to continue living, despite the difficulties, because life is worth it.”

There is no known cure for motor neurone disease – a debilitating disease that can lead to paralysis.

Unzue made the announcement in the press facilities of the Camp Nou in front of Spain boss Luis Enrique, his long term colleague, and the squad of Barcelona.

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La Liga - Club News