Sao Paulo - Former Bundesliga professional Alex Alves has passed away. The ex-Hertha BSC Berlin forward died on Wednesday morning at the age of 37 after a four-year battle with leukaemia.
The tragic news was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Amaral Carvalho cancer clinic in the small Brazilian town of Jau, Sao Paulo, where Alves had most recently received treatment.
Alves battled through an unsuccessful round of chemotherapy before undergoing a bone-marrow transplant last time he visited the facility, on October 7 of this year, having previously waited eight months to go under the knife. One of his brothers was the donor. Alves had been labouring under the effects of the illness since 2008 having previously played for Hertha in Germany's capital between 2000 and 2003.
His goal from the inside the centre circle in the 4-2 win over 1. FC Köln in September 2000 will forever live on in the annals of Germany's top flight. Voted as 'Goal of the Season' come the end of the 2000/01 campaign, it was a strike which is considered one of the best the Bundesliga has ever seen. "The goal from the halfway line against Köln was the most beautiful goal I have ever scored. I'm delighted that I was able to score this goal for Hertha," said Alves, who netted 25 goals in 81 appearances for Berlin, upon leaving Germany.
"I'm completely shocked," said the capital city side's sporting director Michael Preetz, who played alongside Alves during the Brazilian's time at the club. "We at Hertha had hoped that his condition would improve as a result of the stem cell treatment and that he'd pull through this serious situation. We are deeply shocked and our thoughts are with his family."