United States' Kellyn Acosta, left, and Matt Hedges, right, pressure Ghana's Raphael Dwamena, center, during the first half of an international friendly soccer match at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in East Hartford, Conn. Former Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena has died after collapsing on Nov. 11, 2023, during an Albanian Super League soccer match. Image Credit: AP

Tirana: Former Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena died on Saturday after suffering a heart attack during an Albanian league match between KF Egnatia and FK Partizani, according to a statement by the Albanian football federation.

"Paramedics on the pitch rushed him to hospital, where he died at the age of 28," said the federation.

Dwamena earned eight caps for Ghana and was once considered one of the country's rising stars but encountered several cardiac problems over the course of his career.

In 2017, the attacker was unable to join Brighton due to these health issues, and he eventually moved to Spain.

Four years later, the Ghanaian collapsed during a cup match in Austria between his side Blau-Weiss Linz and Hartberg, but recovered and continued his playing career.

Prior to collapsing, Dwamena had undergone a heart operation in 2020 and had an automatic defibrillator implanted, which was intended to allow him to pursue playing football.

Following this operation, the 28-year-old played in the Danish, Austrian and Swiss leagues before joining Albanian outfit KF Egnatia in January 2023.

Dwamena was the current leading scorer in the Albanian league this season with nine goals.

Swiss club FC Zurich published a black and white photo of Dwamena on their website and paid homage to their former player, saying: "Rest in peace Raphael Dwamena! You'll always be one of our own!"

In memory of Dwamena, the Albanian federation decided on Saturday to suspend all league matches.

Endi Tufa, an Albanian football analyst, said of Dwamena: "He lived for football".