22-year-old Lars Dendoncker Second Brighton Player to Retire Due to Heart Problems

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22-year-old Belgian defender Lars Dendoncker recently announced his retirement from football due to a heart condition. This unfortunate development marks the second time within a year that a Brighton player has had to retire due to heart problems.

Dendoncker, the younger sibling of Leander Dendoncker from Aston Villa and the Belgian national team, conveyed his decision to retire on Instagram. He expressed that this was an incredibly tough decision and that it has caused him significant emotional pain. Dendoncker joined Brighton & Hove Albion on a two-year contract in 2020 and spent a year on loan playing for the Scottish side St Johnstone.

While Dendoncker is now formally announcing his retirement, he actually stopped playing football over a year ago after being diagnosed with myocarditis. In a post from December of last year, he shared that he had gone through challenging times. He revealed that six months earlier, during a medical check for a potential transfer to another club, a heart issue was detected – myocarditis.

The unfortunate timing aligns with May, which was close to the end of Dendoncker’s contract with Brighton. In a separate case, Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu had to retire last October due to a heart condition. Initially described as congenital, the details around Mwepu’s condition seemed unclear. His Instagram post on September 26th hinted that doctors were unable to fully disclose what happened.

The situation recalls the experience of American basketball player Brandon Goodwin, who fell ill after being vaccinated against COVID-19. Goodwin attributed his condition to the vaccine, but a hospital official allegedly advised him not to share this information publicly.

It’s worth noting that cardiac issues have affected not only Brighton but also other major football clubs like Bayern Munich. Players from Bayern, including French winger Kinsley Coman and Canadian defender Alphonso Davies, also faced heart-related problems in the last two years, though some have since returned to the field after treatment and recovery.

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