A World Cup Win for Type 1 Diabetes: Real Madrid’s Nacho Fernandez Scores a Goal


Did you know that there’s a 2018 World Cup player, Nacho Fernandez, who has Type 1 diabetes? 

Nacho Fernandez (José Ignacio Fernández Iglesias), who plays for Real Madrid, scored Spain’s third goal of the game against Portugal last night. In the 58th minute, Fernandez’s kick, which has been described as a tremendous strike, put Spain ahead in a game that ended in a 3-3. Nacho has made some people with diabetes pretty darn proud. 

In November 2016, Nacho first spoke publicly about his diabetes. He said, “Many people don’t know that I’m diabetic and it wasn’t that I wanted to keep it secret but it is something I usually only discuss when visiting children in hospital.”

Nacho was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 12 years old. He said, “I’ve had it since I was 12 years old but it is okay because I’m very careful about it. If you have to take care of yourself as a footballer then being a diabetic too means you have do it three times as much.”

ESPN reported  that at the time of his diagnosis, Nacho, who had been playing for the Real Madrid youth team from the age of ten, was told he could no longer play soccer. 

“I had been playing for two years at Real Madrid and it was a tough time,” he said. “I remember, when I went into the hospital, the doctor who saw me wasn’t the one who should have seen me.

“That doctor told me that I couldn’t continue playing football and it was a really bad weekend for me.

“But three days later I saw Dr Ramirez, someone I’m very fond of. He told me the opposite — that I had not finished with football at all.”

Asked whether being diabetic meant there were limits on what he could do, Nacho said: “I am lucky to play football, I like to play all kinds of sports, exactly because of that, because it is very important to do physical activity.

“I have no limitations. There are meals that I have to be a little more careful with but I eat everything and I am lucky to have it well controlled.

“It makes you be a more responsible person and take more care of yourself.”

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