Former Roma player Joseph Bouasse Perfection, who played with the Italian giants’ academy side in 2016, has died from cardiac arrest at the age of just 21, reports from Italian media have confirmed.
The Cameroonian player never represented Roma’s first team, but trained with the likes of Francesco Totti and Edin Dzeko during his spell in the Italian capital after he was signed up by the Serie A side following a successful trial.
It is understood that he died on Sunday evening after suffering a cardiac arrest. Further details are unavailable at this time.
Bouasse’s story is a remarkable one. His trial with the club came about after he was found to have been left alone at a train station at the age of 16 by a human trafficker who had promised him a career in professional football.
He was subsequently signed up Liberi Nantes – an Italian team comprised entirely by refugees. He was spotted and recognized as a “special talent” by Roma scouts during a friendly with the team in 2015, and was invited to train with the youth team.
Bouasse was elevated to Roma senior team training shortly after, and is reported to have been privately tutored by club legend Danielle De Rossi.
A promising player, he made his debut in Italian football on loan at Serie B side Vicenza on loan from Roma in 2017 and has recently moved to Romanian team Universitatea Cluj in February.
The club is desperately saddened to learn of the untimely death of former Primavera player, Joseph Bouasse Perfection. The thoughts of everyone at #ASRoma are with all those closest to him. pic.twitter.com/Ipca8PnC3o
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 25, 2020
“The club is desperately saddened to learn of the untimely death of former Primavera player, Joseph Bouasse Perfection,” a statement from Roma reads.
“The thoughts of everyone at AS Roma are with all those closest to him.”
Former Roma defender Antonio Rudiger, now at Premier League side Chelsea, echoed his former club’s thoughts, saying on Twitter: “Horrible news – I’m so sad about it. Rest in peace, my brother. A young talent gone too soon from us. Condolences to the entire family!“