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Top five footballers who defeated cancer

Arjen Robben
  • Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases that claim many lives yearly. The disease has killed several footballers, such as Miguel Van Damme. 
  • Sebastian Haller was diagnosed with testicular cancer on Monday. He will soon start his treatment so as to defeat the dangerous disease. 
  • There are several footballers who recovered from cancer over the years after going through surgeries. 

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. The terrible disease has been claiming the lives of different people around the globe every day.

Cancer has also taken away the lives of famous athletes such as Babe Ruth, Joe Paterno, Miguel van Damme and Sonja Hennie. However, a good number of athletes diagnosed with cancer have managed to recover over the years. 

Sebastian Haller was diagnosed with cancer on Monday after feeling unwell. The Borussia Dortmund star is among footballers battling the dangerous disease. 

There are football players like Eric Abidal who made a full recovery from cancer.

This article will look at the top five footballers who defeated cancer.

1. Eric Abidal

The Frenchman will always be remembered as one of the greatest defenders of all time. Eric Abidal is among the top footballers who recovered from cancer. 

The cancer survivor was able to return to playing after his transplant. He suffered liver cancer in 2011 while playing for FC Barcelona. All the players stood with him after his diagnosis in March. 

Former FC Barcelona right-back Dani Alves was willing to donate part of his liver to Eric Abidal, who needed a transplant. However, Abidal rejected Alves’ kind gesture because he knew it would not be easy for the Brazilian to continue his football career after the donation. 

One of Abidal’s cousins, Gerard, donated the organ needed by Eric Abidal for his transplant. Abidal went through the surgery on April 10, 2012. He received the green light to return to football in December 2012. 

Abidal joined Monaco in the summer of 2013, where he continued with his football career. He announced his retirement from professional football in December 2014 after spending a half season with Olympiacos in Greece. 

2. Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben is among the top footballers who recovered from cancer. After joining Chelsea, the former FC Bayern Munich winger was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2004. He was just 20 years old by then.

The Dutch winger spotted a lump on one of his testicles and decided to visit the hospital. After his diagnosis, Robben had a feeling that football was no longer important. However, he defeated cancer after going through surgery. 

He made his debut for Chelsea afterwards in the 2004-05 season and helped the West London club win the English Premier League title. 

Arjen Robben later joined FC Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, where he won numerous trophies. 

The Dutch winger is among the most successful footballers in history.

Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben successfully recovered from testicular cancer. Photo/

3. Jonas Gutierrez

Jonas Gutierrez is not a strange name to English Premier League fans. The Argentine star previously played in the Premier League for Newcastle United and Norwich City. 

Gutierrez was diagnosed with cancer during his time at Newcastle United. It all started in May 2013 when Gutierrez felt pain in his left testicle after a challenge with former Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna.

He was found with testicle cancer while under medical examination. Gutierrez underwent surgery in October that year. However, it was discovered that the cancer had spread a lot in his body. 

The Argentine star underwent multiple chemotherapy sessions until he fully recovered from the deadly disease. 

4. Jose Francisco Molina

Jose Francisco is one of the top footballers who defeated cancer. The Atletico Madrid stalwart noticed a tumour in his testicles in June 2001. Jose underwent surgery after it was confirmed that he had testicle cancer. 

However, the cancer was still in his cells after the surgery. Jose had to quit football temporarily to focus on his treatment. The Spanish international made a return to football three months after another surgery. 

Jose Molina continued with his playing career until 2007, when he announced his retirement. 

5. German Burgos

German Burgos is an icon in the football world. The legendary goalkeeper was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2003 while playing for Atletico Madrid.  

Burgos received treatment immediately after his diagnosis and recovered within a short period. The 53 years old is currently the manager of Aris Thessaloniki, which plays in Greece.

German Burgos

German Burgos. Photo/ Atletico.

Abraham Odhiambo is an avid sports fan who loves to write about football, boxing and wrestling. He's a big supporter of Manchester United. He's pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media at Egerton University.

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