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Heart condition ends de la Red's career

Ruben de la Red scored 15 goals during two spells with Real Madrid.
Ruben de la Red scored 15 goals during two spells with Real Madrid.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ruben de la Red has officially announced his retirement from football
  • The 25-year-old has not played since 2008 due to a heart condition
  • The former Spain international will now join Real Madrid's coaching team
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(CNN) -- Former Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Ruben de la Red officially announced his retirement from football in an emotional press conference on Thursday.

De la Red has not played since he collapsed during a Copa del Rey match in October 2008, with what has since been diagnosed as a heart problem.

The 25-year-old, who was a part of Spain's victorious Euro 2008 squad, will stay at the club and begin a new career as a coach at the Bernabeu.

"I wish to send my support to all those players out there whose careers were also cut short. I am also very grateful to all the people who have supported me," said de la Red, who was visibly emotional as he addressed the Spanish media.

"I've fought against this in vain and doctors have advised me to stop. I always dreamt of becoming a football player and to be successful at this club, which is the greatest in the world.

"I am very excited and anxious to start this new stage in my career thanks to the club. I will be able to continue to work at a place I regard as my home. I will try to learn the skills of a coach and I will give my all to be successful."

De la Red is a product of the Real Madrid youth system and made his debut for the Spanish giants in 2004, before being sold to Getafe in 2007 with an option for Los Blancos to re-sign the player.

It was an option Real took up after the midfielder impressed for Getafe during their run to the 2007-08 UEFA Cup quarterfinals.

He also earned three caps for Spain, scoring his only international goal in a 3-1 win over Greece in the group stages of Euro 2008.