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  • Alexis Viera in action.

    Alexis Viera in action. | Photo: AFP

Published 3 September 2015

Alexis “Pulpo” Viera lost mobility in his legs after he was shot during a mugging in Cali, Colombia.

Uruguayan goalkeeper Alexis Viera says he has forgiven the man who shot him during a mugging in Cali, Colombia, leaving him unable to use his legs.

The Depor Aguablanca player was attacked by two men on Aug. 25 in the Caney Especial neighborhood, near his home, and underwent two separate operations. The assailants stole his wallet, a watch, and a cellphone, according to his wife Andrea Fabiana Espel Ramos.

“I already overcame the most difficult thing, that was death, I saw it, but God didn’t want to take me because he has many things to do in me … Now I have a story to tell. Many will ask themselves what ‘Pulpo’ (Octopus) thinks of the criminal. I only asks that God forgives him, I already forgive him,” the 36-year-old posted on his social media pages.

The bullet went through the left side of his rib cage, pierced the lung, cut the T8 vertebra. Surgeons say that rehabilitation will be slow.

“Now I have to fight in the toughest match that God has given me, that of being about to walk again as I could before, to be able to run, to play, and to fight as I always have done,” the keeper said.

Colombian soccer stars including Real Madrid forward James Rodriguez sent messages of support to Viera, Semana reports, who is recovering in an intensive care unit.

“Pulpo” has played for a number of teams across Latin America, including Peñarol and Racing Club de Montevideo in his native Uruguay, as well as Chilean club Ñublense. His career highlights include a strong performance against Argentina’s Boca Juniors in the 2006 Copa Sudamericana, allowing his team Nacional of Uruguay to progress to the quarterfinals.

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