Chapecoense tragedy: Ronaldinho, Riquelme offer to play for free, according to reports
Juan Roman Riquelme and Ronaldinho are planning coming out of retirement to pay tribute by playing for tragic club Chapecoense, according to South America reports.
The plane crash in Colombia on Tuesday, has devastated the Brazilian side by the loss of 19 players and a number of backroom staff.
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Chapecoense may still participate in the league fixtures in the coming weeks, despite the deaths of a majority of their squad, and also embark on rebuilding process of the club.
Juan Roman Riquelme who is another ex-pro is reportedly set to offer assistance to the club.
Also there report that the two football legends could help the team in their time of need.
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Ronaldinho, who won the World Cup with Brazil and can list Barcelona, AC Milan and PSG among his previous employers, and former Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme have offered their services for free.
Tribute To Chapecoense
Ronaldinho’s agent and brother, Roberto Assis, said no talks had yet taken place – as Brazil continued to mourn the tragedy – but he confirmed that the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year will do all he can to help the club.
‘It is a very difficult time,’ inform Globo Esporte. ‘Later on, if there is a contact, we can talk.
‘I can only say that we are here and we want to help.”
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‘He (Ronaldinho) fits the profile, can be the right guy. But the moment is to help families and it would be (wrong) to create expectations for now. As Brazilians, we feel involved. We are together.’
Meanwhile, emotions in South America are still raw 48 hours after the horrific incident.
Nineteen Chapecoense players died when their plane crashed in Colombia on Tuesday
Fans of Athletic Nacional remembered those who died at a ceremony in Medellin
Thousands of supporters filled Atletico Nacional’s stadium in Medellin on Wednesday to remember the Chapecoense team on the night the sides were scheduled to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.
Atletico’s Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex stadium, which holds 45,000, was full with people remembering those who died, while thousands more filled the surrounding streets.
UEFA announced on Thursday that there will be a minute’s silence in all the next week’s Champions League and Europa League matches as a mark of respect to those who died.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said “European football is united in expressing its deepest sympathy to Chapecoense, the Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF], CONMEBOL and the families of all the victims following this week’s air disaster,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
“This tragedy has shaken the world of football, and we would like to send our support to all of those affected by it.”