Former Barça coach Juan Carlos Unzue announces he has ALS

The ex-goalkeeper made the announcement at Camp Nou on Thursday

Unzué, en una entrevista que ofreció a SPORT hace unos años
Unzué, en una entrevista que ofreció a SPORT hace unos años | Valentí Enrich

Former Barcelona goalkeeper Juan Carlos Unzue announced in a press conference at Camp Nou on Thursday that he is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Sergi Capdevila


Surrounded by family, friends and familiar faces from his career, Unzue revealed the news with a smile on his face despite the gravity of the situation. 

"I just wanted to tell you that I have ALS," he said. "In my case, it's affecting my extremities, my arms, hands and legs. It's currently a disease without treatment or a cure except for some pills that the majority of patients take to help slow the progression of the illness. 

"I have two reasons for revealing this now and in this way. Due to the current situation, I have not been able to tell the majority of my friends and people I know to their faces about my health, so they can see this on television or listen on the radio and be calm. 

"I assure everyone that knows me that I am dealing with it well, that I am strong mentally to live with this difficult illness and I feel privileged for all that life has given me until this moment."  

Luis Enrique, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Barça presidenr Josep Maria Bartomeu, Carlos Puyol and Barça boss Quique Setién were present for the announcment.

Unzue played briefly for Barça as a goalkeeper and returned to the club as a goalkeeping coach under Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola. He was later Luis Enrique's assistant and has since coached Celta Vigo and Girona. 


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