The football fraternity is mourning after a plane carrying a Brazilian local team crashed in Colombia killing at least 75 of the 81 people aboard people. Messages poured in from the sporting world after the tragedy.
Miraculously, three players survived the tragedy: defenders Alan Ruschel and Helio Zemper plus reserve goalkeeper Jackson Follman.
From Lionel Messi to Maradona, from Manchester United to Real Madrid all sent their condolences. Chapecoense team members were on their way to play in the finals of South America’s second biggest club tournament at the time of the crash.
Brazilian superstar Neymar captured the numbing grief of a nation, which will spend three days in mourning, with his Instagram tribute.
It read: “Impossible to believe in this tragedy.
“Impossible to believe in the event, impossible to believe that the plane crashed.
“Impossible to believe that athletes, humans were on this plane.
“Impossible to believe that these people left their families . . . IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BELIEVE!!!”
Former England captain Gary Lineker tweeted: “Just about the saddest thing imaginable.”
It also emerged that Argentina star Lionel Messi, had been on the very same UK-built plane when he flew to San Juan for their World Cup qualifier against Colombia on November 14.
Barcelona striker, who took a selfie on board with members of the crew, posted his own Facebook tribute on Tuesday: “My deepest condolences go to all of the families, friends and supporters of the Chapecoense squad.”
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has revealed his grief after his friend tragically died in the Colombia plane crash. Cleber Santana was captain of the Chapecoense team. Sanata spent time in La Liga, playing for Atletico Madrid, where he was teammate of De Gea.
Manchester United goalkeeper took to Twitter to share his condolences and reveal the pair were close.
Manchester United will hold a minute’s silence before their EFL Cup clash with West Ham on Wednesday night due to the tragic Chapecoense tragedy.
In an official club statement on their website, Manchester United said: “The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with Chapecoense Football Club and all those affected by the tragedy in Colombia.
“A plane carrying 81 people, including 22 members of the Brazilian team, crashed en route to Medellin airport on Monday night. Police say 76 people were killed and five survived.
“The plane was carrying the Chapecoense squad from Brazil to Medellin, where they were due to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombian side Atletico Nacional.