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Former Atlético defender Daniel Prodan dies at 44

The Romanian made 34 league appearances in red and white

Some sad news to relate in the run-in to Saturday’s Madrid Derby: former Atlético Madrid center back Daniel Prodan died yesterday in Romania at the age of 44. The cause of death has been reported as a heart attack.

Prodan, a Romanian international who won over 50 caps in his career, became a star at Steaua Bucuresti and moved to Atlético in January 1997. That team finished fifth in LaLiga (one year after winning the double) and narrowly missed out on the Champions League semifinals. Atleti reached the semifinals of the UEFA Cup the following season, going down to runners-up Lazio. Prodan scored four goals in 34 games and left the club in the summer of 1998 to join Rangers, but a knee injury sustained before his transfer kept him off the pitch until 2000, and he never played for the Scottish side. He retired in 2003 as a member of National Bucuresti.

Prodan´s sudden death at such a young age has left us saddened and our thoughts are with his family today.