Sevilla says Argentine coach Berizzo has a malignant tumour


Sevilla's head coach Eduardo Berizzo gestures to his players during the Champions League group E soccer match between Spartak Moscow and Sevilla at the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017.(Pavel Govolkin/AP)

MADRID — A day after Sevilla rallied to hold Liverpool to a remarkable 3-3 draw in the Champions League, the Spanish club said coach Eduardo “Toto” Berizzo has a malignant tumour.

Rumours about the coach’s condition began spreading not long after Tuesday’s match in Seville. On Wednesday, the club confirmed that the 48-year-old Argentine has been diagnosed with a prostate tumour.

Sevilla’s mantra of “Never Give Up” was extensively brought up by fans and players after the club pulled off its comeback against Liverpool with an injury-time goal by Guido Pizarro. It was brought up again on Wednesday.

“You are in the best place in the world to never give up,” former Sevilla sporting director Ramon “Monchi” Rodriguez, who now works for Italian club Roma, wrote on Twitter. “Where you are, they never give up.”

Sevilla has not said how Berizzo’s condition will affect his work. In its brief statement, the club said only that further tests will determine what type of treatment will be required. It was not clear if Berizzo will need to undergo surgery.

Sevilla’s next match is Sunday at Villarreal in the Spanish league.

“Sevilla FC wants to show maximum support to its manager in these moments and wishes him a prompt recovery,” the club said.

Berizzo was hired by Sevilla this season after Jorge Sampaoli left to coach Argentina’s national team. He had spent three seasons with Celta Vigo, guiding the club to the Europa League semifinals and to two Copa del Rey semifinals.

Berizzo was among those jeered Tuesday after Sevilla conceded three goals in the first 30 minutes of the Group E match against Liverpool at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium. But Pizarro’s late goal from a corner kick salvaged the draw that kept the club in good position to advance to the knockout stages for the second straight season.

Sevilla is one point behind leader Liverpool and two points in front of Spartak Moscow. Sevilla plays at last-place Maribor on Dec. 6, while Liverpool hosts Spartak.

“The team kept believing and we experienced an unforgettable and exciting match,” Berizzo said after Tuesday’s game. “We showed how competitive we are. We showed that animal that we have inside of us. We took risks to go after the result and that says a lot about the courage of these players.”

On Wednesday, Sevilla players were the ones trying to cheer their coach.

“You have our support,” Sevilla forward Wissam Ben Yedder, who scored twice on Tuesday, wrote on Twitter. “Hang in there.”

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