Former Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan centre-back Alex has undergone heart surgery to clear four blocked arteries.
The 39-year-old brought the curtain down on his playing career in 2016, spending the last two days in Milan after over a decade at the highest level.
Alex also represented Brazil 17 times between 2002 and 2011 and was part of the Selecao side to win the Copa America in 2007.
But after reports emerged in Brazil that he’d suffered a heart attack, Alex posted a message through Santos’ official Twitter account – his first club as a professional – to confirm that wasn’t the case.
He did, however, reveal that he’d undergone a surgical procedure to unblock four arteries in his heart and would be released from hospital in the coming days.
“I came here to deny reports saying I had a heart attack,” Alex said. “I found a problem a few days ago, doctors decided to give me a bypass surgery. I had four blocked arteries.
“I just left the intensive care unit. I will stay at the hospital for another six days.”
Alex won a number of trophies during his club career, most notably the Premier League and Champions League with Chelsea. He also lifted the Eredivisie in three successive years during a lengthy loan spell at PSV Eindhoven.