FIFA president Gianni Infantino has responded with defeat to the death of Fernando Ricksen. The former Orange International died on Wednesday at the age of 43 after years of struggle against ALS muscle disease.
"Today we have not only lost an exceptional football player. Fernando was the embodiment of what it means to respond to adversity with kindness and solidarity," writes Infantino on Twitter.
"His dedication to his fight against his illness leaves an indelible impression that far exceeds football," the Swiss continues. "My thoughts are with his wife, daughter, family and friends."
Ricksen, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, has been staying in a hospice in Scotland since the beginning of this year and had already announced that he would die there. In the past few weeks he could only move his eyes, but he could still communicate via a speech computer.
His commitment to the fight against motor neurone disease leaves an indelible legacy to this world, far beyond the realm of football. My thoughts are with his wife, his daughter, his family and friends ”.Avatar
'Death of Ricksen black day for Fortuna Sittard family'
Many clubs also respond to the death of Ricksen, including his former employer Fortuna Sittard. "The death of Fernando Ricksen is a black day for the Fortuna Sittard family," reports the Limburg club, where Ricksen started and ended his career on their website.
According to Fortuna, Ricksen left an "indelible impression" in his time at the club. "The club underlined this by naming the North Stand after him in 2014."
"In January 2018, in the presence of friends and former teammates Mark van Bommel and Kevin Hofland, a statue of him was also unveiled at the stadium. Fernando Ricksen will therefore always be remembered and honored within the club," Fortuna said.
See also: Football world mourns death of Fernando Ricksen (43)