Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Report: Heart problem forces Almunia retirement

According to reports in Italy, former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is set to retire from football with immediate effect after three failed medicals at Italian side Cagliari revealed a cardiac problem.

The 37-year-old signed for the Gunners in 2004 and kept 70 clean sheets in 175 appearances over the course of eight years before being released in 2012. Initially back up to Jens Lehmann, the Spaniard eventually usurped the German to become the club’s outright number 1 before Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny came to the fore.

Inheriting the gloves from an ‘Invincible’ who’d in turn taken over from David Seaman, Almunia didn’t win over the Arsenal supporters like his predecessors, but his attitude was never questionable even when injuries, poor form and off field problems saw him eventually put out to pasture.

Arseblog News is struggling to pinpoint any particular highlights – his career coincided with a somewhat painful trophy drought don’t you know – but you suspect he’s probably pretty proud about playing in a Champions League final as a replacement for the sent off Jens Lehmann. Yeah, we know Barcelona’s winner went through his legs…

After leaving the Emirates Almunia spent two years on the books with Watford where he memorably saved a 97th minute penalty in the 2013 play-off semi-finals against Leicester from which his side went up the other end and scored a winner which booked their place at Wembley.

We’re not quite sure what a ‘hypertophic cardiomyopothy’ is, but it doesn’t sound very nice. Indeed Cagliari president,Tommaso Giulini, is quoted as saying it’s the type of problem that without due caution can result in death.

We wish Almunia all the best for the future and trust he enjoys his retirement in good health.

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Stuart Steele (@Stuart_Ten

Wow, sad news. Wish him and his family all the best for the future.

The African Panther

English is my second language but I was told ‘wow’ is an exclamation for something positive. Alas would have done just fine. Sorry for being a nazi. That said, I too hope Manuel enjoys a long healthy life.


Well, when that “Wow” is followed by “sad news”, it’s generally an exclamation for something negative..


I take it German isn’t your first language either… Highly offensive.

From Berlin with Love.

good assassin

Get over yourself.


No worries, Panther. “Wow” is an exclamation of wonder, amazement and surprise (usually) at something that had just happened, it could be something good or bad.

“Wow, that was awesome!” after viewing Aaron Ramsey score a goal for the 24th straight Premiere League match.

“Wow, I can’t believe you just said that” after hearing your best friend say the unthinkable: “I love J0|-||\| t3RRy”

“Alas” is certainly more accurate, but it is currently not regularly used (at least in the U.S.) nor does it express the surprise of what just took place.

Cheers, Bro.


Oh yeah, Japanese is my N-th language too and someone told me konnichiwa means fuck so apparently I have to believe him and post this on Japanese comments using it in another way.

Good Omens

That’s just konnichiwaing silly.



Chaillah the Gunner

Wish him a long healthy life though he gave me many mini heart attacks throughout my high school life.


Highlight was surely the first half of the 2-2 against Barca in 2010.. Kept us in the game when we could’ve been battered

Best of luck Manuel!


Yep. This.


Indeed, I was scrolling down just to see if anyone had mentioned this. It’s definitely worth mentioning. Almunia was incredible. I assume that’s the sort of thing Wenger saw him do during training.

At any rate, I wish him all the best.


All the best manuel

Dr stew

HOCM is a genetic condition predisposing to overgrowth of heart muscle. Can cause sudden death and arrhythmias, but if discovered can be treated with radiofrequency ablation. Sad for the twonk from Spain but that’s the upside of football medicals, they do pick this sort of stuff up early.


A hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is when heart muscles enlarge asymmetrically which can lead to sudden death without any warning symptoms. Especially during exertion. It is also more common in athletes so I am surprised it didn’t show on his scans before. Its a very good decision to retire by him. Wish him all the luck for his recovery.


yeah, not a huge deal unless you’re playing sports. left ventricle is a too big and stiff, so can’t pump blood properly, esp at high rates needed for running, etc. Being a GK probably saved his life since he doesn’t have to run, etc but saving penalities has got to get his heart pumping..lucky SOB, but Im surprised it wasnt caught earlier–maybe the heart enlarged due to something non-genetic.

Hank Gathers was a famous athlete to die from it in the US, I think a couple other footballers retired due to it.


Saving a Robbie Keane penalty in the NLD.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Wish you well Manuel!


I wish him a healthy and peaceful life outside the sticks.


Keeper for my first ever Arsenal
Match: Boxing Day 2004, 2-0 vs Fulham

Lineup that day: Almunia
Lauren Toure Campbell Clichy
Ljungberg (Flamini) Fabregas Viera Pires
Bergkamp (Van Persie) Henry

Godspeed Manuel, thanks for the clean sheet.


I get all tingly when I see the line ups we had back then.

Mikel Artekkers

Oh the irony. Gave me enough heart attacks and now he finds out he’s been on the edge this whole time!

In all seriousness, good luck to him though and hope he stays safe.

Jay Mitchell

Yes Mike I remember being at work that Saturday listening on the radio, the whole of our transport dpt are sp*rs haha, I remember falling in love with TGSTEL that day when he came on and scored with a header after about 5 seconds of replacing eboue

Jay Mitchell

Yes mike, I was working that day, TGSTEL came on and scored the winner after about 5 seconds hahaha fell in love with him that day (oh well :p) I went crazy because I was the only gooner among several of the unmentionables, great day 🙂 Get well Manuel, thinking of you


Is it what caused Marc Vivien Foes’s sad and untimely death. Obviously not surprised about his retirement and wish him well in his retirement and good health.


Thank God it was spotted. Wish you quick recovery and good health in retirement. There is a lot to do out there in the world and I hope you find something you would enjoy doing just like you enjoyed your football. As you seek competent medical care just remember you are not your diagnosis and a positive state of mind can also contribute to a positive outcome.

All the best Manuel.

Perry S.

this is what all that meth and pcp has done to him. manny al walking his tiny dog with his euro trash girl will forever be emblazoned in mind. best wishes manny.


God bless you and keep you, Manuel.

Also, man-up and take care of yourself as best as you can and do what you are advised to do.

Edu's Braces

Jesus that reads far too much like an obituary, he’ll be fine. Id swop with him anyway


All the best mate hope u a speedy recovery . Once a gunner always a gunner


Manuel was never the best but he always gave his best. I wish you well Amigo. Hasta Luego.


Was very good in 2007/8 to keep Jens out of the team and I thought he was one of our best players in 2008/9. Often gets forgotten. Excellent professional, never complained. Best wishes Manuel.

bergkamp's hooped sock

Saving from Xavi/Iniesta in that 2-2 when it looked to be a sure goal, looked majestic while saving it. Wishing you good health, Manuel.


Seemed a decent bloke and always tried his hardest, no doubt about that. Best wishes to him.


He never really looked ‘well’ , did he?

Maybe his legacy is, he was possibly the greatest penalty stopper Arsenal ever had. How about that?

I remember he was particularly brilliant at Old Trafford in the Champions League Semi….


I reckon it’s a broken heart from those stiff talking-to’s from Lehmann


All the best to him for his future and his health.


Best wishes Manuel.
Enjoy your retirement.


His highlight for me was the brick wall impression vs Barcelona at home, without his string of saves we’d have been battered that night. Hope he can enjoy a long and happy retirement.

The Man Who Would Be Bling

His best game for us for sure, he was superb in that match. Thanks Manuel, you always seemed like a really good guy and were a great professional. You health is more important than football, even though you had a couple years left. All the best.


Off Topic… Our loanee foward Afobe added salt to Manure’s wounds in a 4-0 drubbing. I wish we can clone him into a first team player now that Giroud is broken


Sad news.

Manuel was never a great keeper, but he did come across as a decent bloke who remained dignified under sometimes a mountain of criticism. Good luck to him for the future. At least he found out about the defect before he had a serious episode like Patrice Muamba.

Life IS more important than football.

Merlin's Panini

Fabrice Muamba…

Limp Bar

This is really sad news. Really nothing to joke about, sincerely hope everything works out for him.


Best wishes to him. Life > football

Policeman's bangers 'n' mash

I love arseblog but is it really necessary to highlight how a ball went through his legs on a CL final when breaking news about a serious health problem? On TV it would go like, “Ex-Arsenal goalkeeper has a heart problem. He didn’t do anything good in his career and basically is partly responsible for their only shot at CL glory.” Well how about Lehmann got sent off and Henry fluffed his lines too? I know he had a poor end to his career but I do remember him saving our ass when Lehmann flopped at the season start so… Read more »

Policeman's bangers 'n' mash

*partly responsible for blowing their only shot at CL glory.

Naija Gunner

All the best to Almunia and his family.


We always have interesting keepers, so far, seamen is my favorite

ozil provides sanchez scores

hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a disorder of heart muscles which can lead to sudden death if not monitored properly. so sad that almunia has this problem.


I recall Diuff trying to kill him in a match. Scary stuff!


He always seemed like a nice enough guy. So this is a song a used to song about him in a pub in SF where I watched Arsenal for many years.
To the tune of ‘Amore’

When a man comes from Spain and he don’t get a game that’s Almunia,
Then he dyes his hair blonde and the boss puts him on it’s Almunia.
While he’s got lots of friends he don’t speak to mad Jens he’s Almunia,
Not the best we have seen but he’ll play for the Queen that’s Almunia!


When somebody has news like that, do we need to compare them? Can’t we just show some class and wish them well.

Merlin's Panini

Best of luck for the future to him. It’s a shame to have to retire for this kind of reason. I hope he feels satisfied with his career and that he is able to continue in a positive way. It’s better to find out now so he can take the relevant precautions.


Back then I played FM2010, Manuel was our main GK. He kept good performance for 3-4 seasons. Spain didn’t want him, so he was made England citizen. Went to the WC2014 and claimed the golden glove. I was so proud of my young padawan success. Although its just a game, that memory stuck with me.

#All The Best Manuel

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