Cameroonian footballer Joseph Bouasse Perfection has tragically passed away at the age of 21 after suffering a heart attack on Sunday night.
The midfielder came through the ranks of AS Roma’s prestigious academy following a successful trial in 2016 but left the Italian side in 2018 without making a first team appearance.
While he never played for the first-team, he did train alongside the Roma legends Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti in Rome.
Following news of his tragic demise, the Serie A club took to Twitter to pay tribute to their former player.
”The club is desperately saddened to learn of the untimely death of former Primavera player, Joseph Bouasse Perfection.
”The thoughts of everyone at #ASRoma are with all those closest to him.”
The club is desperately saddened to learn of the untimely death of former Primavera player, Joseph Bouasse Perfection.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 25, 2020
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger who was at Roma at the same time as Perfection also reacted to the devastating news.
”Horrible news – I’m so sad about it. Rest in peace, my. brother.
‘A young talent gone too soon from us. Condolences to the entire family!”
Horrible news – I'm so sad about it 😓 Rest in peace, my brother ❤️🙏🏾 A young talent gone too soon from us. Condolences to the entire family! #JosephBouassePerfection 🇨🇲 #RIP pic.twitter.com/Ul8bZR4fSU
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) May 25, 2020
According to ESPN, Bouasse’s incredible trial success at Roma came after being left on his own at a train station by a trafficker, who had promised him a new life as a professional footballer.
Aged 16, he ended up joining Liberi Nantes — Italy’s only all-refugee team where he showcased his prodigious talent.
Bouasse was eventually spotted, offered a trial and then Roma boss Luciano Spalletti invited him to first team training to see how he would match up against the club’s biggest stars.
After he signed a deal with Roma, he trained alongside the likes of Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti during his time in the Italian capital and featured 11 times in the club’s youth team.
Bouasse later spent time out on loan with Vicenza in Serie B in 2017 where he made his professional debut before his contract at Roma ran out in 2018.
He moved to Universitatea Cluj in the second tier of Romanian football in February of this year.