Former Watford and Arsenal stopper Manuel Almunia has been forced to retire from football due to a heart condition, according to the Watford Observer.

The 37-year-old was due to join Cagliari after his release from the Hornets in the summer but a medical revealed a heart issue which has been diagnosed as Apical Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which can lead to sudden cardiac death, especially in sportsmen. Whilst not confirmed by the player, Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini told calcionews24.com that the issue was picked up by the club and then confirmed in another scan.

The PFA tweeted on the subject earlier today:


Almunia joined Watford back in 2012, making 81 appearances and was named as captain at the start of the 2013/14 season.


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