Former Revolution defender Gabriel Badilla Dies During Marathon

Image from aldia.cr

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Costa Rican National defender, former New England Revolution player and captain of Deportivo Saprissa, Gabriel Badilla died suddenly of cardiac arrest on Sunday while running a marathon in Santa Ana, Costa Rica.

Badilla was 32-years old.

“The New England Revolution Family is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Gabriel Badilla on Sunday morning,” said Revolution team President Brian Biello in a statement. “During his time with the Revolution, he made a lasting impact on all those who were fortunate enough to know him, and we consider ourselves lucky to be among them. We remember Gabriel as a great man, teammate and player, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”

Badilla made 25 appearances for the Costa Rican National team between 2006 and 2016. He made just six appearances with the MLS-side New England Revolution but will be most remembered for his time with the Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa where he played over 200 games.

Badilla’s health was a point of concern for some time as he had surgery to remove a benign tumor from his heart in 2013. Despite the medical condition, he continued to play soccer and was successful at his native club. While running the marathon on Sunday morning, he collapsed two blocks from the finish line just before 7:00AM. An ambulance arrived quickly but they were unable to resuscitate the international soccer star and he was pronounced dead at 7:18AM.

Badilla leaves behind two daughters.