James Rodriguez thanked for saving ex-Mali international Ousmane Couliably’s life

Former Mali international Ousmane Coulibaly, who suffered a heart attack on the pitch during a Qatar Stars League match last week, has thanked Al Rayyan’s James Rodriguez for helping to save his life.

Coulibaly, 32, collapsed in front of goal near the end of the first half of his team Al Wakrah’s match against Al Rayyan at Doha’s Al Gharafa Stadium and was treated by medical and ambulance staff before being stabilised in hospital.

Coulibaly posted an image of himself in hospital on Thursday and thanked Rodriguez for adjusting his head to make sure he could breathe properly and Al Wakrah teammate Saoud Al Khater for immediately signalling to the medical team.

“Thanks to God and the work of these heroes I was saved,” defender Coulibaly said in the post, while also thanking hospital staff and first responders at the match.

Coulibaly is not the first professional footballer to suffer a heart attack on the pitch.

Danish forward Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during a European Championship clash with Finland in Copenhagen in June last year.

The 29-year-old was fitted with a heart-starting device. His contract with Inter Milan was terminated on medical grounds but he is looking for a new club to continue his career.