World Cup fever

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Congratulations to the USA and England on going through to the second round of the World Cup today. As an Irishman, I will confess to a modicum of schadenfreude at the humiliating exit of France yesterday, but we won’t dwell on that… Unlike high-contact sports such as Rugby or American football, it seems possible to play soccer to a high level after a renal transplant. Ivan Klasnic, a Croatian who plays for Bolton in the English Premiership and the Croatian National team, is one such example. He developed ESRD in January 2007 and received his first transplant from his mother later that month, but unfortunately this was lost to rejection 5 days post-transplant. However, a second transplant from his father 7 weeks later was successful. He was back playing for FC Nantes one year after first becoming ill, wearing a protective belt over the transplant site. He went on to play a starring role in the Croatian National team in Euro 2008, the first transplant patient ever to do so, scoring in both the group stages against Poland and the quarter-finals against Turkey.
It hasn’t all been plain-sailing though – England’s controversy-prone John Terry allegedly punched him in the transplant during a match last year… a crime only marginally worse than a deliberate handball in the closing minutes of a crucial world cup qualifier, but maybe I’m biased…

1 comment

  1. Jonah Lomu, one of the best Rugby Players ever got a Kidney Transplant in 2004. Well, he never managed it to return to his old class but caried on to play in the Celtic League after the Transplantation…which is very remarkable considering the rough nature of a Rugby Game

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