Real Madrid CF midfielder Rubén de la Red has retired from football at the age of 25 after spending the last two years sidelined with a heart problem.
De la Red collapsed on the pitch during a Copa del Rey tie at Real Unión Club on 30 October 2008 and has since undergone intensive tests to determine the extent of the problem. Club medics advised the player against returning to action, but an emotional De la Red announced he would be staying at Madrid in a coaching capacity.
"I am really pleased about the new opportunity I have been given," said the three-times Spanish international. "I always dreamed of being a player and winning things here. Now I want to do that as a coach. Although I have a problem with my heart, it will always remain with Madrid."
A graduate of Madrid's youth system, De la Red scored one goal in 17 Liga appearances for the Merengues. However, his most memorable season came on loan at Getafe CF, helping them reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals and the Copa del Rey final. Those displays earned him a place in Spain's victorious UEFA EURO 2008 squad.
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