22-year old Colombian National Andres Felipe Ruiz, a former member of Croatian pro side Mladost Ribola Kastela, has died after suffering a heart-attack. The cause of the heart attack has still not been announced.
Ruiz joined the Croatian club in 2016 on recommendation of his countrymate Jose Daniel Polchlopek, and was with them for their 2017 Cup win and 2018 league championship.
His contract expired at the end of the 2017-2018 season, but coach Ivan Rančić, who is undergoing preparations with the Croatian National Team, said that the club was considering re-signing the player.
A statement on the club’s website reads:
“Today is a sad day for us, forever he has left us one of the most beloved players, the deep spirit of our team, our Andres Ruiz, you will always be in our hearts. He is flying with angels, we will never forget you.”
It has been a hard 5 weeks for volleyball in Colombia; in July, the federation’s president Carlos Alberto Grisales Rengifo died.
Ruiz, a middle blocker and one of the team’s highest scorers, spent time with the Colombian National Team last season.