BARCELONA legend Eusebio Sacristan has undergone an emergency operation after being rushed to hospital following a fall.
The 56-year-old was admitted to intensive care ahead of the op after medics discovered a blood clot in his brain linked to the tumble.
The European Cup-winning midfielder was placed in an induced coma after his procedure to alleviate the pressure on his brain and try to reduce any future complications.
One unconfirmed local report said he was at a bar when he fell and hit his head in the accident, which did not happen while he was at home.
The retired footballer, who managed four sides including Barcelona B and his last club Girona after a 20-year playing career, will now have to see in the New Year in hospital after being told he must remain under observation for 72 hours.
He is at a hospital called the University Clinic Hospital in his home city of Valladolid north of Madrid.
The Eusebio Sacristan Foundation, which helps to integrate vulnerable youngsters into society through sport, said in a statement: “Eusebio has been operated on today at Valladolid Clinical Hospital after suffering a severe head injury caused by an accidental fall and his recovery will be monitored over the next few days.
“All updates will be published through this Foundation at the request of his family, who wish to transmit their sincere gratitude to everyone including the media and colleagues from the world of sport who have shown concern for Eusebio’s health.”
Local reports said the retired footballer had suffered his fall at an unidentified location on Wednesday night after being spotted on a restaurant terrace with friends earlier in the day.
His condition today was described as stable.
Eusebio began and ended his playing career at Valladolid and spent a season at Atletico Madrid before signing for Barcelona and becoming part of Johan Cruyff’s so-called Dream Team.
He made 267 appearances with the Catalan giants over seven seasons from 1988, winning four league titles, the Copa del Rey, Cup Winners’ Cup and a European Cup.
He retired from football in 2002 aged 38 after playing 543 La Liga matches, fourth-best in the competition behind only Andoni Zubizarreta, Joaquin and Raul.
He earned 15 caps for Spain, first coming on in September 1986 in a friendly match with Greece and being picked to go to Euro 1988, although he failed to play in the tournament.
He resigned as manager of Girona after the club were relegated at the end of the 2018-2019 season.