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Former Spanish soccer player shares how his faith got him through the loss of his son

Santiago Cañizares was a goalkeeper for Spain's national soccer team, and also played for Real Madrid, Valencia and Celta de Vigo. He retired in 2008 and has been a soccer commentator ever since.

In 2018, he went through the most difficult experience of his life: the death of his 5-year-old son. He remembers feeling God's presence in an especially powerful way in that moment.

Cañizares shared his experience in an interview organized by the San Pablo CEU University and the Spanish news outlet, ABC.

Former soccer player

“And do you want to hear how I dealt with my son's death? Well, I understand that death is not the end, that there's another world that isn't this one where you and I live, a world that is probably closer to God than we are here. I felt God taking my son away. I felt God's presence, many times, in the things that happened to me.”

The former soccer player's story had a profound impact on the university's professors and students. With them, he addressed topics like facing life's challenges and being good people in a selfish society.

Former soccer player

“Being a generous, kind, respectful and maybe humble, person with others, should be the norm. It shouldn't be the exception. But we live in a world where in many cases, we have lost these essential values, and so a normal person seems extraordinary to us.”

With his YouTube channel, Santi Cañizares comments on current events in the world of sports, and he interviews soccer players. He always concludes with the same invitation: “Be happy,” because he says that happiness depends on our approach to life, in good and bad moments.