FC Porto and Braga players push ambulance off pitch after it gets stuck
PORTO and Braga players forced to push an ambulance off the pitch [PHOTO COURTESY]

Former Real Madrid star Pepe was left in tears after a horrific incident overshadowed Porto’s 0-0 draw away at Belenenses.

The visitors were pushing for a winner in the dying seconds when right-back Nanu challenged for a loose ball in the box.

But he collided horribly with onrushing Belenenses goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk and was instantly knocked unconscious.

He was left motionless on the turf as players signalled urgently for help and an ambulance was required to drive onto the pitch to rush him to hospital.

“Nanu had a cerebral concussion and spinal cord injury with a loss of memory,” Porto later tweeted.

“At this moment, he is stable, conscious and is aware of time and his surroundings.”

Pepe and other players were left visibly upset and distraught as their team-mate underwent treatment for around 15 minutes before being loaded into the ambulance in a neck brace.

At full-time, Pepe said he had been told Nanu “left well and was aware of the field”.

“Wish Nanu the best,” he added on SportTV.

“For what the doctors said, you have to be patient.”

Nanu, 26, was making his eighth league appearance of what has been a breakthrough season for the Portuguese giants.

The former Benfica youth prospect joined the club from Maritimo last year and has started to make his mark in Sergio Conceicao’s first-team.

The defending champions have struggled to keep pace with Sporting Lisbon at the top of the table and their draw was another blow to their title hopes.

The result, whilst overshadowed by Nanu’s injury, leaves Porto three points behind Sporting, who have a game in hand.

They return to action against third placed Braga on Sunday before preparing for their Champions League last-16 clash with Juventus later this month.

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