Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Diego Mendieta RIP

I first came across the name Diego Mendieta when he was playing for PSSB in 2007. It was a name I clung on to because it was easy to remember.

Soon after the Paraguayan striker was blacklisted; banned from playing in Indonesia, at least the 2008 season.

He would be back though. After a short spell with Johor FC in Malaysia he returned to Indonesia and in 2010 was looking for a new club. He trialled with Persikota before eventually signing for Persitara.

Last season he was playing for Persis in the Divisi Utama.

The 32 year old Paraguayan died last night in a hospital in Solo and his final days are a tragic end.

About 10 days ago, just as Indonesia were preparing to play Laos in the ASEAN Cup in Kuala Lumpur the Persis fan site, Pasoepati, reported their former player had been hospitalised with Typhoid and they were concerned enough to raise funds for the player who had apparently gone four months without receiving any all too familiar occurrence here.

During his final days Mendieta moved hospital three times; he had no money to pay the bills. The Pasoepati raised about 300 USD for their ex player but there no sign of his outstanding salary; thought to be about 12,000 USD.

As the end approached Mendieta was quoted by a local paper as saying 'I have no money, I want a ticket home, I don't want to die here, I want to be with my mother.'

Persis fans were quoted on Twitter as saying he had lost 17 kilograms in weight and a final picture shows a cadaverous young man wearing a Real Madrid shirt

It's impossible to try and imagine his last few hours. Lying in a government hospital, far from family, dying a slow, death with a few Persis fans for company.

A tragic way for anyone to go; especially a footballer in good condition.

Not much to add really. Except perhaps to compare Mendieta's situation with that of Fabrice Muamba. When the Bolton midfielder collapsed at White Hart Lane the world went into mourning. #prayforMuamba was tweeted around the world by people who had never heard of Bolton Wanderers let alone the former Arsenal player.

With oxygen of publicity that comes with the English Premier League Muamba made headlines round the world with thousands of Indonesians passing on their best wishes.

Mendieta had none of that. No one knew really beyond Solo and their amazing fans. No RT's, no hashtags, no Facebook pages. Just the ignominy of moving from one hospital to another to escape the mounting bills.

A sad ending. RIP Diego!
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sudden and tragic end to an 'interesting' career...
Goodbye Diego Mendieta... May you rest in peace with Father in heaven... We're apologize because we can't send you home to ur country to meet ur family as ur last wish
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