SL Benfica striker Miklós Fehér has died after collapsing on the pitch during a match on Sunday night
The 24-year-old centre-forward had come on as a 59th-minute substitute but half an hour later suffered a cardiac arrest from which he failed to recover. Fehér was carried from the pitch by his team-mates and both clubs' medical staff tried in vain to resuscitate him before an ambulance arrived and the player was taken to Guimarães Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 00.10CET.
Benfica's head of communications, António Cunha Vaz, said: "Nobody would like to deliver this news. We are all deeply shocked and would first like to send our condolences to his family. All the Benfica board and supporters are mourning our player, Miklós Fehér."
'Thoughts with family'
Dr Gilberto Madaíl, the President of the Portuguese Football Federation, added: "On behalf of the Portuguese Federation I would like to express my deep regret at this situation. Life has unfair situations and all we can say is that our thoughts are with the family and friends of the player."
Benfica's Fernando Aguiar scored the game's only goal a minute before Fehér was shown the yellow card for wasting time. Then he collapsed. "It's incredible that something like this happens," said match referee Olegário Benquerença. "I immediately knew something was very wrong when he fell on the pitch and all I could do was call the medical crews of both teams."
Born in Hungary on 20 July 1979, Fehér started his career at Györi ETO FC and went on to represent FC Porto, SC Salgueiros and SC Braga before moving to Benfica. He made his first international appearance in October 1998 against Azerbaijan and went on to score seven goals in 25 international matches. There will be an autopsy to determine the circumstances of his death today.