The Brazilian exporter Marcio Lucio Duarte Costa “Aranha”, who was the victim of two cases of racism that had a great impact when he was a footballer, was admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) on Wednesday for complications from the coronavirus, the family reported Thursday.

Aranha, according to their relatives told journalists in Pouso Alegre, his hometown in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, came to Hospital das Clínicas Samuel Libanio from that locality with more than 50% of their lungs compromised.

The clinic did not give details of the 40-year-old athlete's hospitalization, but according to information from his relatives to the UOL Esporte portal, Aranha immediately needed a respiratory catheter and a maximum dose of oxygen to avoid intubation.

Aranha presented the first symptoms of covid-19 after his wife, who had been hospitalized for the disease and was already recovered at her residence.

In his 18-year professional career, Aranha defended Ponte Preta de Campinas, a club with which he debuted in 2000 and retired in 2018; Atlético Mineiro de Belo Horizonte, Santos – with whom he stood out the most -, Palmeiras from São Paulo and Joinville.

In addition to his success with Santos, mainly in winning the 2011 Copa Libertadores title alongside Neymar, Aranha's career was marked by two high-profile racism cases.

In 2005, when he was the owner of the Ponte Preta, Aranha took a friend to a hospital in the São Paulo city of Campinas and was arrested after being mistaken by the police for an assailant who was a fugitive from justice.

Nine years later, in 2014, during a match for the Copa do Brasil against the Gremio, Aranha, who was already defending Santos, was called a “macaco” (monkey) by a group of rival fans, an offense that ended with the elimination of the Porto Alegre team even without being able to dispute the return match.

The fan who most verbally attacked Aranha, as captured by the television cameras that broadcast live on the national network, was sanctioned by the Guild itself, which vetoed her entry to the stadium, lost her job and her house was set on fire by militants from anti-racist movements.


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