FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has sent a letter of condolence following the death of the former Colombia and Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero died on Tuesday as a result of cerebral thrombosis. He was 41.
As well as representing his country at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™, he was a leading member of the Pachuca side that won ten Mexican titles between 2000 and 2011. The father of two children – Miguel Angel aged 20, and Juan Jose aged 14 – Calero was admitted to a Mexico City hospital on 25 November and was diagnosed as having a blood clot on the brain.
After showing signs of improvement over the next two days, his situation began to worsen and he was pronounced clinically brain dead on Monday following a second cerebral thrombosis. He was taken off life support at midday on Tuesday.
In his letter, Blatter wrote: "It is with great and deep sorrow I write this after hearing the sad news of the untimely death of Miguel Calero at the age of 41. Miguel not only represented with great honour the country of his birth, Colombia, but was also an influential player in his adopted country of Mexico.
“On behalf of FIFA, I want to convey our condolences for this painful loss. The football community joins with the Colombian people in their grief, and it is my sincere wish that these words provide some comfort in these difficult hours."
Chanting songs and waving flags, more than 5,000 Pachuca fans made their way to the club’s home ground to pay tribute to him at a wake, where his mother, wife, two sons, eight siblings and other family members gathered round the player’s coffin.
Capped 50 times by his country and a Copa America winner in 2001, Calero suffered a blood clot on his left arm in 2007 but recovered from it and played for Pachuca at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008, returning to the competition two years later in UAE. He became the club’s goalkeeping coach after retiring from the game in 2011.
Nicknamed El Cóndor, Calero made his debut with Sporting Barranquilla before signing for Deportivo Cali in 1992. His fine performances there earned him a big-money move to Atletico Nacional six years later.
He made the switch to Mexico in 2001, becoming Pachuca’s first-choice keeper in a golden era in which they won four domestic trophies and six international ones.
Appearing in six Copa Americas with Los Cafeteros between 1991 and 2007, he was understudy to Oscar Cordoba when Colombia won the competition for the first and only time to date on home soil in 2001. He also figured in the Colombia squad at France 1998.