Emre Can has revealed that the thyroid surgery he underwent soon after joining Juventus from Liverpool was due to an early diagnosis of cancer.
Can spent four years with Liverpool from 2014, but made the decision to turn down a contract offer and join Juventus on a free transfer in 2018.
It came despite playing a key role in Jurgen Klopp‘s side, with the German pursuing a new challenge in Serie A – which, it transpired, would only last a year and a half before heading to Dortmund.
Early on in his time at Juventus, Can spent six weeks on the sidelines after undergoing surgery to treat a nodule in his thyroid.
Now, speaking to DAZN, the 29-year-old has revealed this came after cancer was discovered, with Can grateful for the doctors at the Turin club for a life-changing diagnosis.
“I had thyroid cancer and I urgently needed an operation,” he said, as relayed by GOAL.
“This has changed a lot in my life. You can have a lot of money, you can have everything, but health is the most important thing.”
He added: “I am extremely grateful to the doctors. A couple of months after the medical visits with Juve they called me.
“I didn’t even know what was going on, I had never heard of a thyroid and I didn’t know that there could be a tumour.
“The move to Turin is worth it for that alone.”
Can made a swift recovery and has been a regular for Dortmund over the past two-and-a-half years, making 101 appearances in a variety of roles including as centre-back, right-back, left-back and No. 6.
Speaking further on the situation, the natural midfielder urged those with concerns to undergo check-ups.
“It’s part of life, I advise everyone to get checked,” he continued.
“It doesn’t matter how healthy we think we are; if we discover these things in time, we can take action.”