Andres Balanta, a 22-year-old Colombian professional footballer for the Argentinian team Atlético Tucumán died suddenly after collapsing during the team’s first training session after the holiday break
After collapsing, Balanta was taken to a nearby hospital where he died despite 40 minutes of CPR. While the cause of death has not been definitively confirmed, reports indicate he died of a heart attack.
Balanta began his professional career in 2019 with Deportivo Cali, a Colombian club. He represented his country on the Colombia national team in the 2019 Under-20 World Cup.
In July 2021, Balanta joined Atlético Tucumán on loan from Deportivo Cali.
Atlético Tucumán released a statement announcing Balanta’s passing that said,
“Atlético Tucumán regrets to confirm the death of Colombian soccer player Andrés Balanta. We embrace and accompany with deep respect your family and friends at this time.”
Atlético Tucumán lamenta confirmar el fallecimiento del futbolista colombiano Andrés Balanta.
Abrazamos y acompañamos con profundo respeto a sus familiares y amigos en este momento. pic.twitter.com/bwHWNrrk7h
— Atlético Tucumán (@ATOficial) November 29, 2022
The Argentine Football Association (AFA) posted a message of condolence to its social media accounts, saying,
“#ProfoundPain The Argentine Football Association mourns the passing of Andres Balanta, Atlético Tucumán player. We send our condolences to his entire family. RIP“
#ProfundoDolor La Asociación del Fútbol Argentino lamenta el fallecimiento de Andrés Balanta, futbolista de Atlético Tucumán. Enviamos nuestras condolencias a toda su familia. Q.E.P.D. pic.twitter.com/WW1UmaXhyK
— AFA (@afa) November 29, 2022
The Colombian Football Federation also released a statement on the player’s tragic death:
“The Colombian Football Federation regrets the death of Andres Balanta, player of the Colombia national team in its different divisions. We send our condolences to his family, friends and relatives. RIP”
La Federación Colombiana de Fútbol lamenta el fallecimiento de Andrés Balanta, jugador de la @FCFSeleccionCol en sus diferentes categorías. Enviamos nuestras condolencias a sus familiares, amigos y allegados. Q.E.P.D. pic.twitter.com/mqBTgfkAf2
— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) November 29, 2022
Sergio Agüero, an Argentine former professional footballer who was forced to retire early last year due to a heart condition, was shocked by the news of Balanta’s passing. Aguero was doing a live stream video when he heard the news.
“Balanta died, they say. In training? Now?” he asked in shock.
“That’s s***, I clearly remember that the doctor told me that that can happen, and that’s why they don’t allow me to play because what I had,” Agüero said.
“I don’t know what happened with the controls [medical testing]… it’s really difficult…”
The 34-year-old had been experiencing chest discomfort when playing a match in October 2021 and, after seeking medical advice, was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia. This led to him retiring on medical advice.
Balanta had previously undergone similar medical testing in 2019 after he temporarily lost consciousness during a morning training session.