January 21, 2007 / 5:23 PM / 12 years ago

Soccer-Buljubasich makes comeback after brain operation

SANTIAGO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Universidad Catolica’s Argentine goalkeeper Jose Maria Buljubasich played his first match on Wednesday since an operation to remove a brain tumour last year.

The 35-year-old former Rosario Central, Tenerife and River Plate player captained Catolica in their pre-season friendly against Union Espanola.

On an otherwise quiet evening, Buljubasich had to pick the ball out of the back of the net in the 11th minute after David Cordoba scored the only goal of the game.

Buljubasich had a small, benign tumour removed in September and subsequently returned to hospital for five days because of a complication arising from the operation.

Buljubasich spent nine months out of football after announcing his retirement when he was at Argentina’s River Plate in 2003.

However, he was persuaded to resume his career by Union Espanola in 2004.

He joined Universidad Catolica in 2005 when he kept 14 successive clean sheets in the Chilean championship, completing 1,352 minutes of play without conceeding a goal.

He was 38 minutes short of the 1,390 minutes achieved by former Belgian international Dany Verlinden, the most verifiable such record.

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