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In memoriam Professor Raúl Horacio Madero (21 May 1939–24 December 2021)
  1. Jiri Dvorak
  1. Spine Unit, Schulthess Clinic Human Performance Lab, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jiri Dvorak, Spine Unit, LabSchulthess Clinic, Lengghalde 2, CH 8008 Zurich, Switzerland; Jiri{at}

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Raúl Madero was born to a conservative Argentinian family in the city of Buenos Aires. His grandfather (Eduardo Madero), the architect, city planner and developer of the Puerto Madero waterfront, was extremely well known. Raúl received a basic education at a Catholic boarding school in Buenos Aires. As a child, he had already discovered his passion for the game of football, though his parents and other family members preferred that he play tennis, polo or other sports which in their opinion were more sophisticated. Nevertheless, Raúl managed to train and play football secretly during his free time with the support of the priests at his boarding school. Raúl told me his story about how football changed his life—with a smile on his face and a glass of good Malbec in his hand—when I visited him in the late 1990s.

A life dedicated to football and medicine

Once his undeniable football skills were discovered, Raúl started playing professionally for Boca Juniors but soon moved to Estudiantes de La Plata. During the period 1963–1969 he played 179 games for Estudiantes on what he fondly called ‘my team’, and in the years 1964–1969 he played on the Argentina national football team. He was known as a firm, elegant and …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.