Antonio De Nigris' younger brother Aldo appeared shaken during a press conference.
While the death came as a shock to the Mexican footballing community, his heart condition - congestive heart failure, according to reports - was not an unknown to his family, brother Aldo De Nigris said. However, they did not think it was fatal.
"We were aware of the condition but thought it was a minor problem," De Nigris said. "We thought it was normal."
Aldo spoke of his brother's life and death during a press conference, where he spoke with a trembling voice, covered his face at times and took long pauses between words at others.
"I know he's watching me and he's probably upset because he's seeing me like this," Aldo said. "He never liked to see me like this, but he knows I'm going to fight for the dream we both had, which was to go to the World Cup."
Although Aldo was visibly shaken with having to deal with a tramautic loss, he said he would not skip Monterrey's playoff match against America at Estadio Tecnologico on the weekend.
"I want to play. If I don't play, Toño is going to appear and he's going to beat me up," Aldo said. "What he always wanted was for me to play. He was always a fighter, we all know that. Hopefully I'll get some of that so I can achieve a quarter of the things he did.... I followed in his footsteps, tried to follow. Maybe someday I'll be able to do what he did.
Antonio came up with Monterrey before leaving Mexico for Spanish side Villarreal. He also played for clubs in Turkey, Colombia and Brazil, as well as three other Mexican teams, before landing with Greek side Larissa. He died Sunday night in his home in the Greek city.
While his career path is impressive, the elder De Nigris spoke highly of his younger brother, Aldo said.
"He would always tell me that I was going to be better than him," he said. "I told him that it was impossible because of his charisma and character. I never knew anyone who spoke bad of him. And I've never known anybody who has felt more love for the Rayados jersey than he did."
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