Koeman postponed check-up just weeks before heart attack

Euro 2020 Qualifier - Netherlands Press Conference

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman says he had postponed a routine cardiac check-up due to the COVID-19 health crisis just weeks before he suffered a suspected heart attack.

"It was really weird because I had scheduled the check-up because my father had died of a heart attack but because of the corona crisis it was postponed to June 4,” the 57-year-old told RTL television on Thursday.

Koeman fell ill with chest pains at his home and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he underwent cardiac catheterisation. He was released after a four-day stay.

"Now I wonder how many people from whom such an appointment has been postponed are no longer alive,” he added.

“In retrospect, I realise that I was lucky.

Koeman said he was itching to return to work, although the coronavirus shutdown means it is unlikely there will be any international football until the end of the year.

"I am on medication and I am working with the physiotherapist three times a week. I went to the cardiologist this morning and everything was in order,” he added.

Koeman, who as a player won the European Cup with both PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona, ensured the Netherlands qualified for the 2020 European Championship after the country missed out on the last two major tournaments.

The championship has since been postponed to next year.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Peter Rutherford)