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Manuel Almunia forced to retire with heart ailment

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The former Arsenal no. 1, diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, must set aside the gloves at age 37.

Clive Mason

According to reports from Italy via Arseblog News, former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and must retire from professional football. Almunia, who played for Arsenal for eight seasons and most recently had played for Watford, had been trying to win a job at Caligari, but will now hang up his boots after 20 years of professional football.

Almunia did not always have the easiest time at Arsenal, where he took over as the number one after Jens Lehmann left the club in 2008. His command of his area often came into question, but his ability as a shot stopper was outstanding, and his frankly absurdly good showing against Barcelona in the 2010 Champions League, where he made somewhere around 1,000 saves, will go down as one of the better showings by an Arsenal keeper since David Seaman. At one point, he was even rumored to be on the radar to play keeper for England, having never appeared for his home country Spain.

Almunia seems like a super good dude, also, and everyone at The Short Fuse wishes him all the best for the future.