Brazilian player dies after cardiac arrest on pitch in Portugal

FC Alverca's Brazilian midfielder Alex Apolinario has died in hospital, four days after collapsing on the pitch during a third division game in Portugal.

Apolinario, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest in the 27th minute of his team's league game against Uniao Almeirim on Sunday.

After being attended by Alverca's medical staff, when a defibrillator was used, the former Cruzeiro player was rushed in an ambulance to the nearest hospital where he was placed in a medically induced coma.

The club said in a statement: "With deep regret we report, according to the information provided by the medical staff of Vila Franca de Xira Hospital, the brain death of our athlete Alex Sandro dos Santos Apolinario, this morning.

"FC Alverca Futebol SAD will provide all the necessary support to his family. At this time of mourning all FC Alverca activities are cancelled."

Apolinario joined Alverca in January 2019 after a brief loan spell at Athletico Paranaense from Cruzeiro.

Cruzeiro, where Apolinario began his playing career, expressed their sadness in a statement that said: "Cruzeiro laments the death of Alex Apolinario. We wish strength and serenity to the family and friends of Alex at this delicate time."

Sunday's game was postponed as players from both teams stood together at midfield in prayer.