FC Politehnica AEK Timisoara defender Cristian Dulca has retired at the age of 30 because of a heart condition.
Lust for life
Only two weeks after signing for his latest club, Dulca received the results of a detailed heart examination and decided that it was better to retire than risk dying on the pitch. "
The doctors told me that I could play further, but at the same time that I could die on the pitch," he said. "That's why I decided that it's better that people should speak about me as a good former player than as a man who died."
The decision marks the end of a long period of concern over Dulca's fitness following an earlier heart examination. "18 months ago, while I played for [FC] Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt, the doctors discovered some problems with my heart," he said. "I had to rest for three weeks and then everything was fine. Some weeks ago, the same problems were discovered at the same National Institute of Sports Medicine in Bucharest."
Having scored eleven goals in 106 Romanian first division games for CF Gloria Bistrita 1922, FC Rapid Bucuresti, Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt and FC Gaz Metan Medias, Dulca can look back upon a career which saw him win both the Romanian Cup and the league title with Rapid.
He also spent time abroad, joining Pohang Steelers of the Korean Republic before moving on to Hungary to play for Kispest Honvéd FC. In addition to this he played in six games for the Romanian national team and also took part in his country's 1998 FIFA World Cup finals campaign in France.
'My future is assured'
Despite the disappointment of having to retire at such a young age, Dulca was keen to point out that he would not be struggling to find a career off the pitch. "I can raise my two kids, I have an international transport firm and I am a trainer," said Dulca. "
My future is assured."
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