Saturday night’s late match in Spain between Sevilla and Atletico Madrid began with a horrible sense of deja vu for the home crowd, as proceedings were held up for several minutes 3 minutes in, as Atletico’s Colombian centre-half Luis Perea was knock-out unconscious after an ugly head collision with Ndri Romaric.
Memories quickly came flooding back of the tragic death of Sevilla’s Antonio Puerta 18 months ago, who passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest on the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan turf.
The incident occurred on the edge of the Madrid box. Perea and Romaric, both with their eyes fixed on a loose high ball, both leapt high trying to win the header for their separate sides. Perea managed to get to the ball first with Romaric arriving a second too late. And as a result Romaric planted the full force of his header on the side of Perea head while the defender was still in the airborn after winning his initial challenge.
The impact was graphic and immediate.
Perea came crashing down on the grass, seemingly already knocked-out from the collision, withh his head literally bouncing off the surface before his body lied motionless on the ground. Fearing the worst, one of his teammates quickly put his fingers in Perea mouth to ensure that he did not swallow his own tongue before the medics quickly came on the pitch to take over. Perea laid unconscious for more than a minute before eventually being taken off by stretcher with a neck brace applied, his hands moving as the defender slowly came to.
For his part Romaric was left wounded too, with a severe gash and blood dripping from his head.
Footage of the horrible accident can be seen here.