Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez has revealed his battle with a bladder problem that threatened to halt his football career.
The Spaniard has admitted his struggles through training and matches over the past two years that have left him in constant agony.
Saul, 22, says that he has since had a ureteral stent inserted as he bids to fulfil a career-long dream and win the Champions League with Atleti.
It is suspected that a heavy collision during a European match against Bayer Leverkusen in 2015 could have been the cause of the problem.
Saul took a blow to the kidney and was unable to continue, with reports suggesting that he vomited several times as he was being escorted back to the dressing room.
He later suffered from seizures in the Atleti dugout and spent four days in a German hospital.
“For the past two years, I’ve played with an internal catheter,” he said to Spanish broadcaster Mega.
“In every training session and game, I was urinating blood. I’ve had a bad time of it.
“I was playing with my health to wear these colours, to wear a dream.”
Saul, who has been linked with transfers to the Premier League in the past, is battling through his problem and has started 23 of Atletico’s 32 La Liga fixtures this season.
With the league title out of reach this season, Saul says Atleti’s focus is on the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Leicester.
He said: “The Champions League is a dream that we all have and we’ll fight for many years to make it come true.
“We’ll play with our heart and desire to achieve it.”