Germany and Hannover 96 goalkeeper Robert Enke, 32, has died after being hit by a train, police have confirmed.
The German football federation (DFB) said in a statement: “The German team has learned of the death of Robert Enke with great shock.
“National team coach Joachim Loew and manager Oliver Bierhoff said: ‘We are all shocked, we are speechless’.”
Enke played eight times for Germany and also for clubs Benfica, Barcelona and Borussia Moenchengladbach.
He made his international debut aged 31 and became Germany’s number one keeper after Jens Lehmann retired from internationals at the end of Euro 2008.
Enke had missed Germany’s last four matches with a virus but returned for his club at the weekend.
Loew had indicated that Enke was in pole position for the number one jersey at next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa. Enke’s daughter Lara died in 2006 of a rare heart condition when she was just two.
He leaves behind his wife, Teresa, and an eight-month-old daughter the coupled had adopted earlier this year. Dr Theo Zwanziger, president of the DFB, said that the football community in Germany “are deeply distressed and in mourning”. He added: “All our sympathy goes to the wife of Robert Enke and his family.”
Rest in peace, Robert.