Mr Olympia star looked unrecognisable as heart problems led to tragic death

A legendary bodybuilder was left unrecognisable after needing a heart transplant before his tragic death.

Mr Olympia star Nasser El Sonbaty, dubbed The Professor, represented the former Yugoslavia at international competitions across the world in the 80s and 90s.

Born in Germany to an Egyptian father and Serbian mother, Nasser became a decorated pro, taking part in 53 competitions and always ranking in the top five.

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He went on to qualify for ten Mr Olympia events, with his best rank being runner-up in 1997.

The bodybuilder tragically passed away from kidney failure and heart complications at age 47.

The illness left him needing a heart transplant but he did not qualify for it as his heart was too weak to be operated on.

In his final weeks he looked vastly different to the physique he had crafted for so many years to compete on the world stage.

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His training partner Guillermo Tom told Musclemag International at the time that Nasser was admitted to the hospital in San Diego with breathing problems a few months before his death.

Known for his bulging biceps and weighing nearly 21 stone, Nasser had been splashed over the world's biggest men's and fitness magazines.

But he was not just about the brawn, and graduated from the University of Augsburg in Germany with a degree in history, political science and sociology.

His degree, as well as his ability to speak multiple languages and his distinctive spectacles earned him the nickname "The Professor."

He impressively was able to weigh over 300lbs in the offseason and still show his full abdominal muscles, according to Muscle and Fitness.

But sadly, his kidney's failed when he was approaching middle age, leading to heart complications.

It is not clear whether his lifestyle impacted his vital organs, or whether he had a predisposition to heart or kidney disease.

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