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Yeray Alvarez posts defiant message after pulling out of Spain Under-21 squad following cancer return

The Athletic Bilbao defender underwent a regular medical check-up which revealed testicular cancer return

It’s easy to think of professional footballers as invincible, especially at the elite level.

But Spain Under-21 defender Yeray Alvarez, who should have been preparing to play in the European Under-21 Championships, is today coming to terms with the return of testicular cancer.

The 22-year-old has one cap for Spain’s Under-21s

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The 22-year-old has one cap for Spain’s Under-21s

The 22-year-old underwent a routine medical check-up which revealed that his testicular cancer, which kept him out for three months of Bilbao’s season, had returned.

He will now undergo chemotherapy and is expected to be out for three months.

A statement on Athletic’s website read: “”The player will on June 13 leave the U21 Spain national team and the estimated time of absence is approximately three months.

“Just as we expressed when we first found out about his illness, Athletic Bilbao is at the disposal of Yeray and requests respect and discretion for the player and his family.”

Yeray had established himself as a regular in Athletic’s defence

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Yeray had established himself as a regular in Athletic’s defence

Yeray took to Instagram to post a defiant message in the face of the disease.

In an emotional post, he said: “When it seems like you’ve just got back up it comes back to knock you down.

“Don’t worry, this is a fight that I’ll win alongside the people who support me. If I have to knock it down again, I will.

“I’ll get back up 1000 times. Then again.”

We look forward to seeing you back out on the pitch, big man.