Sadly, the football world received tragic news on Christmas days, as former Juventus midfielder Fabian O’Neil passed away at the young age of 49.

The late Uruguayan began his playing career at Nacional before moving to Cagliari in 1996. His time in Sardinia witnessed several highs and lows including two relegations to Serie B.

In 2000, he signed for Juventus, but unfortunately found little success during his 18 months in Turin. He made 20 appearances, contributing in a single assist.

The attacking midfielder then had a brief stint at Perugia, before making his return to Cagliari for a forgettable second stint. Finally, he ended his career at the age of 29 following a swift spell at his original club Nacional.

O’Neil was the true definition of a mercurial talent. His former teammate Zinedine Zidane described him as the most talented player he had ever seen. But in his own admission, his career was wrecked by his inner demons, which included gambling, alcoholism and problematic relationships.

After wasting his fortune on some ill-advised investments, O’Neil spent his final years in poverty, but remained a proud man.

“Slow horses and fast women, those ruined me but now that I’m poor I’ve found new friends, few but true,” those were his words as reported by JuventusNews24.

ESPN (via Reuters) reported that the Uruguayan had been admitted to hospital on Saturday in a coma while bleeding due to a chronic liver disease.