NICE, France (AFP) - Former French international star David Ginola suffered a suspected heart attack on Thursday and was airlifted to hospital, the Nice-Matin newspaper reported.
However, the 49-year-old ex-PSG and Newcastle star later moved to reassure fans over his condition and blamed his illness on playing football in the searing afternoon heat.
“Footy match in the midday sun, not very clever. Now having some tests done. Who ever voted for a World Cup in Qatar in the summer?” Ginola tweeted.
Ginola had been playing golf with other personalities at Mandelieu before he fell ill and was taken to Monaco’s Princess Grace Hospital, where his condition was initially described as “unconscious but stable”.
The news prompted an outpouring of support on social media, with a post on Newcastle’s official Twitter account reading “Get well soon”.
After leaving France for England in 1995 and spending two years in the north-east, Ginola played at Tottenham for three seasons where he was voted PFA Player of the Year and Footballer of the Year in 1999.
He then turned out for Aston Villa and Everton briefly before retiring in 2002.
He also played 17 times for his country between 1990 and 1995, but his international career was overshadowed by a 2-1 defeat to Bulgaria which saw France fail to reach the 1994 World Cup, with Ginola singled out for criticism by then coach Gerard Houllier.
Since his playing days, Ginola has turned his hand to presenting and working as a television pundit in both England and his native France.