PALERMO captain Alessandro Martinelli has been forced to retire at just 27 due to heart issues.
The Swiss star has had to call time on his career after spending only a year at Palermo as medical tests told him it was “impossible” to continue playing.
Alessandro Martinelli has been hailed as an ‘extraordinary moral character’ by Palermo as he retires[/caption]
The 27-year-old midfielder had been preparing to begin the new season but extensive testing revealed he had anomalous cardiac readings, reports Football Italia.
Serie C Palermo paid tribute to him in a club statement.
They said: “The in-depth medical tests that Alessandro Martinelli underwent over the last few weeks have unfortunately shown it is impossible for him to continue his playing career.
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“Everyone at Palermo expresses their deep regret and holds Martinelli close, for he was one of the most impressive protagonists of the Rosanero rebirth and a leader, both on and off the field, thanks to his extraordinary moral character, as well as undoubted sporting talent.”
Martinelli has previously played for Sampdoria, Venezia, Modena and Brescia before moving to Palermo in the summer of 2019.
He lead the side to promotion last season after the phoenix club were placed in Serie D following the original Palermo going bust a year ago.