Former Barcelona goalkeeper Rustu Recber has been hospitalised in Istanbul after testing positive for coronavirus, his wife has said.
Recber was part of the Turkey team that finished third at the 2002 World Cup, the country's best finish at the global finals. He later joined Barcelona in 2003 and left three years later.
"Rustu is in the hospital with a COVID-19 diagnosis. We are in a state of shock after the symptoms developed rapidly while everything was normal. These are critical times and it's very difficult," Isil Recber said on Instagram late Saturday.
She added that she, as well as their son and daughter, had tested negative for the virus.
Recber's ponytail and anti-reflection make-up made him stand out every bit as much as his heroics between the posts for his country.
The goalkeeper, now 46, enjoyed a brief spell at Barcelona in 2003 after starring in the World Cup a year earlier when Turkey beat co-hosts South Korea 3-2 in the third-place play-off.
Recber was named the best goalkeeper in European competitions in 2002, selected for the 2002 UEFA Team of the Year by public vote. In 2004, he was selected to FIFA 100 by Pelé as one of the 125 best living footballers in the world.
The 46-year-old retired from international level after UEFA Euro 2008 with 118 international caps to his name but was called to play against Spain on 28 March 2009 and 1 April and played a final 'farewell' match against Finland in May 2012.
He also played for Istanbul giants Fenerbahce and Besiktas before retiring in 2012 having played more than 550 games for clubs and country.