Monday, 10 November 2008

Who would want to be a footballer?

Well there's the Money, cars and sponsorship; the wives and girlfriends (WAGs); adoration of millions... Then there's that crippling disease you will get... You know, that one where most sufferers will die within five years of their diagnosis?

The latest to be stricken is Stefano Borgonovo, a 44-year-old former striker for AC Milan. His announcement that he was suffering from motor neurone disease (MND) was made from a wheelchair with a computer-generated voice. A computer that recognises the series of blinks from his eyes and turns them into words.

Raffaele Guariniello, a magistrate from Turin, enlisted Adriano Chio, a neurologist and Italy’s foremost expert on the condition, to do an epidemiological survey after his own investigation into a high incidence of cancer and heart problems in Italy’s premier league exposed the presence of an even more sinister scourge among the ranks of the retired players.
He discovered that 41 of them had suffered lingering deaths since 1973 from MND, which destroys the body’s motor nerves, eventually resulting in paralysis. Among the victims were Gianluca Signorini, a former captain of Genoa, who died in 2002 at the age of 42, and Adriano Lombardi, a former Como midfielder who died last year, aged 62.
Unfortunately... nobody really knows why...

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