Spain’s Nacho Fernandez has given hope to millions of people with type 1 diabetes by becoming the first person with the condition to score in a World Cup.
Nacho, whose full name is Jose Ignacio Fernandez Iglesias, was told his “footballing days were over” after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 12.
But, determined to prove his doubters wrong, the 28-year-old has successfully forged out a professional career and now plays for one of the biggest teams in the world, Real Madrid.
And on Friday 15 June, the defender scored his nation’s third goal in their Group B clash with rivals Portugal in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, proving that having type 1 diabetes is no barrier to success at the highest level.
The goal, a stunning strike, was not just celebrated by the Spanish fans, with people with type 1 diabetes also rejoicing in the occasion. On Twitter, Helen Lazarus (@LazarusLife) who has type 1 diabetes‏ tweeted: “Apparently having Type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop you scoring an absolute stonker of a goal #diabetesweek #TalkAboutDiabetes”.
Nacho is enjoying a glittering career, having won the Champions League and the top football division in Spain, La Liga.
Speaking about his diagnosis, Nacho has previously said: “I was diagnosed with (type 1) diabetes. On the Friday the doctor told me there was no way I could go on playing football. Imagine any 12-year-old kid being told that. It was awful. On the Monday I went back into the hospital and I saw a different doctor, Dr Ramirez.
“I was so happy because he said the opposite was true. He said sport was the most important thing for me and I had to carry on playing and competing. It wasn’t true that my condition meant I couldn’t be a sportsman. And here I am still fighting.”
People with diabetes who play sport or want to become more physically active, can visit our Diabetes and Sport section for help and information.

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