Sevilla Coach Inspires Liverpool Comeback With Cancer Revelation

The Spanish side was 3-0 down but fought back to draw 3-3 and avoid elimination.

Guido Pizarro and Eduardro Berizzo celebrate.
Emotional scenes. Guido Pizarro and Eduardro Berizzo celebrate. Image Getty

Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo inspired his team to a memorable 3-3 draw with Liverpool by revealing he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

A statement issued by the Spanish club confirmed the 48-year-old Argentine’s illness in the wake of the result, wishing him a speedy recovery in the process. “The medical services of Sevilla FC report that the coach of the first team, Eduardo Berizzo, has been diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma (malignant tumour) of the prostate,” the club statement read.

However, several media outlets are reporting that Berizzo told Sevilla’s first-team about his cancer at half-time of their crunch Champions League group stage clash with Liverpool.

At the time, Sevilla were 3-0 down at home following two goals from Roberto Firmino and a third from Sadio Mane and appeared to be heading out of the competition.

But Berizzo’s revelation and words of encourage evidently had a dramatic effect.

Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder sparked the comeback with a header and a penalty in the first 15 minutes of the second half. Even then, Sevilla left it late to level things up, with Guido Pizarro bagging the equaliser in the third minute of injury time at the end of the game.

Pizarro celebrated his goal by rushing over to Berizzo. He was not alone either, with much of the Sevilla team descending on the Argentine coach in emotional scenes that take on a new relevance in the wake of Berizzo’s diagnosis.

Speaking after the game, Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega admitted that the half-time revelations had left the team determined to fight back.

“We went into the changing rooms knowing that if we tried then we could pull it off,” he said. “That’s how we have to play every game. We have to go out there with that attitude, for the fans that always back us and for the coach who has turned this around.”

The Sevilla squad.
A squad united. Togetherness. Image Getty

The goal would have been particularly poignant for Pizarro who was given the opportunity to play in Europe, with Sevilla, thanks to Berizzo who was a keen admirer of the 27-year-old midfielder’s talents following spells in Mexico and Argentina.

Everyone is now wishing Berizzo a speedy recovery.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.