Turkey World Cup hero Rustu Recber hospitalised with coronavirus, wife confirms

'We are in a state of shock after the symptoms developed rapidly while everything was normal

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  Rustu Recber of Besiktas in action during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United and Besiktas at Old Trafford on November 25, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Former Turkey and Barcelona goalkeeper Rustu Recber is in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, his wife said.

Recber was part of the Turkey team that finished third at the 2002 World Cup, the country's best finish at the global finals.

"Rustu is in hospital with a COVID-19 diagnosis," Isil Recber said on Instagram late Saturday.

"We are in a state of shock after the symptoms developed rapidly while everything was normal. These are critical times and it's very difficult."

She added that she, as well as their son and daughter, had tested negative for the virus.

Recber's ponytail and anti-reflection make-up made him standout every bit as much as his heroics between the posts for his country.

The goalkeeper, now 46, enjoyed a brief spell at Barcelona in 2003 after starring in the World Cup a year earlier when Turkey beat co-hosts South Korea 3-2 in the third-place play-off.

He also played for Istanbul giants Fenerbahce and Besiktas before retiring in 2012 having played more than 550 games for clubs and country.

Last week, Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim said he also tested positive for the virus.

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel left Turkish side Trabzonspor by mutual consent earlier this month after saying he was not comfortable playing matches during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Super Lig was eventually suspended on March 19.