Former Slovakia defender Marian Cisovsky has died at 40 after battling the incurable amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for six years, his Czech club Viktoria Plzen said Sunday.
"Today is the saddest day. With a heavy heart we have to announce Marian Cisovsky has left us forever," Viktoria said on Facebook and Twitter.
Cisovsky won three Slovak titles with Inter Bratislava and its successor Artmedia Petrzalka in 2000, 2001 and 2008.
After a three-year stint with Politehnica Timisoara in the Romanian league, Cisovsky joined then-Czech champions Viktoria Plzen in 2011.
He helped Viktoria win the Czech league title in 2013, but retreated from the sport in 2014 as the disease hit.
But he has remained a part of the club which still lists him in the line-up on its website, and he always took part in the celebrations when Viktoria won league titles in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
A solid centre back, Cisovsky played 15 international games for his native Slovakia. He was also on the Slovak under-21 team that played at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
ALS is a progressive nervous system disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord and causing loss of muscle control.