Fabian O’Neill dead aged 49: Tributes paid to Uruguay icon who Zidane hailed as one of most talented he’d faced

    FORMER Uruguay player Fabian O’Neill has died aged 49 following a battle with chronic liver disease. 

    O’Neill was admitted to hospital on Saturday in a coma, after suffering a hemorrhage.

    Fabian O'Neill has died aged 49 following a battle with chronic liver disease

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    Fabian O’Neill has died aged 49 following a battle with chronic liver diseaseCredit: AFP

    And his death was later confirmed by the Uruguayan FA in a statement.

    It read: “We regret with deep sadness and shock the death of the former player of the Uruguayan National Team, Fabián O’Neill.

    “Our condolences to your family and friends. RIP.”

    His ex-team Cagliari said: “Proud to have been able to admire your genius up close: pure, crystalline, like the most precious diamonds.

    “You made us fall in love with your class, Cagliari has never stopped loving its Wizard with the “10” on his shoulders.

    “Rest in peace Fabian. Forever one of us.”

    O’Neill started his career in Uruguay in 1992 with Nacional, winning the league in his first season.

    He went on to have later success in Italy, playing for Cagliari and Juventus.

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    And former Juve team-mate Zinedine Zidane described him as “the most talented player I’ve ever seen” according to  France24.

    The midfielder made 19 international appearances with two goals and finished his playing career in 2003 back at Nacional at only 29.

    O’Neill leaves behind two daughters and a son, with his boy Favio a youth player in Uruguay.

    Alvaro Recoba, left, pictured with Fabian O’Neill

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    Alvaro Recoba, left, pictured with Fabian O’NeillCredit: AFP

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