Thursday October 31 2013
Natalino retires aged 21

Felice Natalino, one of Inter and Italy’s promising young players, has retired due to continuing cardiac problems.

The 21-year-old had made his debut in Serie A and the Champions League with Inter at the age of 18, but in 2012 doctors found an irregular heartbeat.

In February 2013 the situation deteriorated with a heart attack and emergency surgery. He had hoped to make a comeback to football, but today had to put away that dream.

“Unfortunately Destiny had other ideas! But I will always have the honour of playing alongside someone like him!” wrote Natalino on Twitter with a photograph of him with Samuel Eto’o.

“I was told that I could still be passed fit to play abroad, but my personal doctor said it’s really not wise to push the heart too hard,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I am helping out my father in our family football school, Virtus Sambiase, and try to give advice to the young players. I also spend time at the gym set up by my uncle, who died in a tragic cycling accident.

“Life goes on. It could’ve gone better, but it could also have been much worse. Thanks to everyone anyway and especially to Inter, who continue to stay close to me.

“I am sad in one way, but on the other I am happy. I am ok, that is what counts.”

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