Soccer

Marc Overmars’ heart working at 30% as Arsenal hero suffers ‘irreparable damage’

Arsenal legend Marc Overmars has suffered “irreparable damage” to his heart after going into cardiac arrest last month.

The 49-year-old was rushed to hospital on December 30 after suffering what was described as a “mild stroke”. But it has been revealed that the former Netherlands international’s condition is more serious than initially believed.

A report by Dutch outlet De Telegraaf claims part of Overmars’ heart muscle has died, meaning its capacity to pump blood has been reduced by 70% compared to its normal volume.

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Overmars joined Belgian side Royal Antwerp as their director of football in March last year, having been sacked from the same post at Ajax after sending a “series of inappropriate messages to female colleagues”. He admitted his behaviour was “unacceptable” and saw “no other option but to leave Ajax”.

Following his stroke, an Antwerp statement read: "Marc Overmars, director of football affairs at RAFC, became unwell last night and was admitted to hospital with a mild stroke.

"Marc is doing well in the meantime but will have to take it easy for a while. Marc and his family focus on his recovery and do not wish to comment further. RAFC wishes Marc a speedy recovery!"

Overmars burst onto the scene with Ajax in the 1990s, where he won three consecutive Eredivisie titles and was part of the 1994/95 season's Champions League-winning squad.

The ex-winger is best known in England for his three-year spell at Arsenal. He played a huge role in Arsene Wenger’s double-winning season, scoring the opening goal of the 1998 FA Cup final.

The pacey Overmars then joined La Liga giants Barcelona before ending his career at boyhood club Go Ahead Eagles. He also received 86 caps for the Netherlands, scoring 17 goals.

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