May 13, 2013, 11:42 AM EDT
It has emerged this morning that under-fire Paris Saint-Germain director of football, Leonardo, was rushed to hospital last night, after collapsing just hours after PSG had won the French title.
The former Brazilian international has certainly been in the news in recent weeks, after allegedly pushing a referee in the tunnel during PSG’s brutal 1-1 tie with Valenciennes on Sunday, May 5.
Paris Saint-Germain — with the help of former MLS star David Beckham — clinched their first Ligue 1 title since the 1993-94 season on Sunday night, after beating Lyon 1-0. But during the post game celebrations Leonardo was seen arguing with star player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as the evening turned sour.
On top of that, other reports suggest PSG may yet be handing the coveted French title back soon, as Leonardo’s actions of pushing a match official could see the club handed a points deduction, with the trophy instead heading to their bitter rivals Marseille.
Stress, anxiety, pressure. It’s all been mounting.
If you take into account what has been a rambunctious few weeks and last few hours for Leonardo, then you can see why his health appears to be in such a poor state.
Under constant stress and pressure from the Qatari-based ownership group that run PSG, Leonardo has seen Les Parisiens limp towards the finish line and claim the league title with two games to spare.
This incident hits home just how much stress is involved in soccer today. The top clubs in Europe demand success, week in, week out. And the demands on a select few people to deliver that is, at times, incredibly unfair. Yes, they’re paid huge amounts of money to manage, dictate and organize a successful club. But many put their whole life on hold, with sporting director’s and manager forced to deliver victory at all costs.
Just this week, the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson was cited by some as premature, with many suggesting concerns about Fergie’s health as the main reason behind his decision to retire.
It seems now as if Leonardo’s health has paid the price for PSG’s title race. But early indications suggest his condition isn’t critical and he should make a full recovery.
Regardless, take a look at the video of his bust up with Ibrahimovic during last night’s celebrations. Decide for yourself if that is the face of a man celebrating PSG’s greatest triumph in almost 20 years… or a man fighting with the rigors and stress of leading an elite European club to success.
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