Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Milan at Puerta's funeral

A mass of football stars and thousands of fans attended the funeral of Sevilla's Antonio Puerta, which took place on Wednesday.

Puerta died three days after collapsing on the field during a La Liga match with Getafe. The 22-year-old lost consciousness and fell near his own goal on Saturday, and then collapsed again in the dressing rooms.

He was taken to an intensive care unit for treatment and Sevilla later announced he had suffered a heart attack. On Tuesday it was confirmed that Puerta, who earned one cap for Spain, had died.

A crowd estimated to be around 20,000 packed the streets outside Sevilla's Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium, where a funeral chapel had been set up so that people could pay their last respects to Puerta.

Among the mourners were scores of figures from the world of football, including Puerta's Sevilla team-mates and reprasentatives from AC Milan.

UEFA Champions League winners Milan play the UEFA Cup holders in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday in Montecarlo.

The Milan delegation for the funeral included officials Adriano Galliani, Ariedo Braida and Vittorio Mentana. On his arrival, Galliani was greeted by a heartfelt applause - Sevilla's fans and their President appreciated Milan's participation to their mourning.

Friends and former team-mates of the 22-year-old gathered to pay their finals respects, including Julio Baptista, Kepa Blanco, Javier Saviola, Raul, Guti, Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos, Raul Tamudo and Ariza Makukula.

Following the mass, Puerta's coffin was carried out by his relations and Sevilla team-mates to the awaiting hearse as the crowd applauded and chanted 'Puerta our friend, we are with you'.

Source: AC Milan / Sky Sports

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