There are few happenings in the world of football with the power to bring fans across the globe together as one. Sadly, the death of Sevilla and Spain player Antonio Puerta is one such event. Over the last few hours hundreds of users have expressed their feelings through FIFA.com: sadness, grief and a deep sense of admiration from all four corners of the planet. Here are just some of the many messages you have sent in.
Condolences have been pouring in from every country imaginable, all of them linked by one common theme; a solidarity and sadness that extends far beyond footballing allegiances. Real Betis fan Antonio Garcia Perez provided a fine example of just that: "I'm Bético but today I feel Sevillista. It's such a shame to lose a magnificent person like Antonio Puerta. My most sincere condolences to his family. I will always carry a piece of him in my heart."
Similar emotions were expressed by the user 'sheilacastet': "I feel so terribly sad about the death of such a young player, who was so full of life. I have been crying for him on the other side of Spain and I'm not even a Sevillista or a football fan. Right up until the end I was praying for him to get better and so that my son could one day meet him."
Not all the messages in memory of the 22-year-old left-sided defender came from Spain. From Bucamaranga, Colombia, came these words from 'netherlands': "I simply can't believe this terrible news for world football... He was one of a handful of young players who would have gone on to become a footballing idol in the years to come."
'Sars71</>' gave voice to his grief from Venezuela: "I'd like to express my sorrow for the death of a magnificent player and an exceptional person... Sevillistas will always have an example to follow from now. His love for the club was far greater than any material ambition. My very best wishes to his family. They should not feel alone at this dreadfully sad time."
In all languages
Although the tragic death of the Sevilla star was closely felt by Spanish-speaking users, messages in a host of other languages were also sent into FIFA.com. 'FredericR' from France was one to express his feelings: "This is terribly sad news for Sevilla FC... The whole world is in mourning."
'Olujay' described the situation as "extremely painful," before adding, "My thoughts are with the club, his family and the fans. I hope they can endure this terrible loss... I hope his soul rests in peace."
Finally, 'Vonpayer' summed up the thoughts of everyone who came to admire the young player. "We haven't just lost a great footballer, but also a wonderful person. My deepest condolences to the Puerta family and to Antonio. Wherever he is now, may he score many, many goals. Força Toño!"