Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, the club announced on Wednesday.
The Spanish side said further tests are needed to know if the Argentinian boss will have to undergo surgery.
Berizzo, 48, joined Sevilla from Celta Vigo in June as a successor to Jorge Sampaoli and is under contract with the Andalusian club until June 2019.
A club statement read: “Sevilla FC’s medical team report that our first team coach, Eduardo Berizzo, has been diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Future exams will allow us to decide what the next steps will be regarding treatment. Sevilla FC wishes to show its maximum support to their coach at this time and wishes him a prompt recovery.”
Berizzo watched from the bench as Sevilla hit back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Liverpool in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
Guido Pizarro struck the equaliser in stoppage time and the Sevilla players and staff celebrated by running towards the bench and hugging coach Berizzo.
— Nicolas Pareja (@nicopareja21) November 21, 2017
Berizzo’s Argentinian compatriot, Ever Banega, hailed his manager after the game. The Sevilla midfielder said, as reported in Marca: “We had a terrible first half and we knew we had to come out after the re-start with another attitude, for the fans that are always there for us and also for our coach that has reverted the situation.
“He is the maximum leader of all of us, he guides us on the right path and we are completely behind him.”
Reports in Spain claimed that Berizzo told his players of his medical condition at half-time.
Berizzo said in his postmatch news conference: “I told them that we had a great opportunity ahead of us that doesn’t happen often. That we had five minutes to go out and correct the mistakes, that we could turn around a bad night… I thank my players for their conviction, they made it an unforgettable night. “
Sevilla, fifth in La Liga and on course to qualify for the next round of the Champions League, play at Villarreal on Sunday.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.