Sevilla's Hedwiges Maduro has spoken for the first time since news broke that he had a heart defect.
“It was a big surprise to hear initially, I have been playing professional football for 11 years and it had gone unnoticed,” Maduro reflected today.
It was a huge blow for the midfielder who had only just turned down a contract extension at Valencia to move to Sevilla, and had spent most of last season on the sidelines after rupturing ankle ligaments. However after visiting the US for tests last week, he has been given permission to resume his career.
“Thankfully everything is much better now. But when you are ill you begin to think of football and life differently, I am a lot more grateful now,” admitted the 27-year-old, before talking cautiously of his hope to return to training.
“I must approach the entire thing slowly, by beginning training at my own pace before catching up with that of my teammates. Only then will I focus on playing matches.”
Maduro ended by acknowledging his well-wishers: “All the support from friends, family and people around the club has been overpowering.”
The Ajax youth product is expected to be back training with his teammates within the next few days.