Vasili Kulkov: Former Benfica and Porto star loses battle to cancer at age 54

Vasili Kulkov: Former Benfica and Porto star loses battle to cancer at age 54

- Vasili Kulkov has been confirmed dead at the age of 54

- The Russian was said to have died of coronavirus complications while already treating esophagus cancer

- Kulkov made his name with Millwall during his short-term loan deal with them

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Former Millwall, Benfica and FC Porto midfielder Vasili Kulkov has been reported dead after losing battle to cancer.

The former football star was declared dead over the weekend shortly after he was said to have contracted the deadly coronavirus.

Kulkov who also enjoyed two stints with Russian topflight side Spartak Moscow passed away on the same day he clocked 54.

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According to SunSport former defender who also doubles as a defensive midfielder was said to have been undergoing chemotherapy for esophagus cancer. But his wife Elena Makharadze confirmed her husband's death.

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The late defender made over 400 appearances during his active period for 11 different clubs before hanging his boots about 20 years ago.

He played just six games while on loan a short term loan deal move to Millwall but he appeared more popular at the English club than anywhere else.

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Kulkov was recommended to The Lions boss back then, Mick McCarthy by the legendary Bobby Robson alongside his countryman Sergei Yuran back in 1996.

Vasili Kulkov: Former Benfica and Porto star loses battle to cancer at age 54
Vasili Kulkov during his playing career that lasted about 16 years. Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

The deceased made his name after scoring against Arsenal in the 1992 European Cup during his loan spell.

His agent led the tributes to his passing and revealed that the defensive midfielder, who could also play at centre-back, had been unwell for a year. Paulo Barbosa told Portuguese daily Diario de Noticias:

"Sad news. He had been fighting cancer for over a year and was hopeful. But unfortunately, he was unable to win this battle.

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"We were good friends and we used to talk. We were together about a year ago. He was a huge football player and he was a special person."

Vasili Kulkov already kicked off his coaching career having started already as an assistant coach at Marítimo. earlier reported that Inter Milan have taken to their official social media account to confirm the death of their legend Mario Corso who died at the age of 78 after brief illness as tribute pours in for him.

In their message, Inter Milan described the deceased as someone they will surely miss considering the legacy he left behind before he died.

Verona-born Corso is known for having perfected the 'knuckleball' free-kick long before the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo became famous for them.

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