Brazil football legend Ronaldinho and ex-Argentine midfield maestro Juan Roman Riquelme have reportedly offered their services to Chapecoense FC, after the Brazilian Serie A team lost 19 of its first team players, staff and management in a horrific plane crash that led to the loss of more than 17 lives.
Reports have emerged that the legendary players are willing to offer their services for the club as it looks to rebuild the team. Brazilian publication Globo Esporte contacted Ronaldinho’s manager and brother Roberto Assis to find out more about the ex-Barcelona player's return to Brazilian club football.
'It is a very difficult time,' Assis told Globo Esporte. 'Later on, if there is a contact, we can talk.
He then went onto say, 'I can only say that we are here and we want to help. '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.'
On Monday, 28 November, the LAMIA 2933 underwent electrical failure and had to crash land on a mountain in Medellin. The Brazilian club was on the way to crowning a fairytale year at the Copa Sudamericana final against Medellin side Atletico Nacional, when the incident occured.
Chapecoense's best-known player was Cleber Santana, a midfielder whose best years were spent in Spain with Atletico Madrid and Mallorca. Coach Caio Junior also was experienced, having managed at some of Brazil's biggest clubs, Botafogo, Flamengo and Palmeiras among them.
A haunting recording aired by Colombian media appeared to hold answers -- though officials have not confirmed its authenticity.
"Ma'am, LAMIA 2933 has a total failure, total electrical failure, without fuel," pilot Miguel Quiroga tells the control tower in the recording, minutes before the jet crashed Monday night.
In the tape, the pilot had earlier asked for priority to land due to "fuel problems."
The request was granted by Medellin's international airport. But the control tower then lost contact with the plane, whose fuselage was found plastered on a hillside 50 kilometers (30 miles) outside the city.
Bolivia said on Thursday that it was immediately suspending LAMIA's operation certificate and would replace the management of its aviation authority in the wake of the crash, to ensure a transparent investigation. It said the moves implied no wrongdoing.
LAMIA Chief Executive Officer Gustavo Vargas on Wednesday said the plane had been correctly inspected before departure and should have had enough fuel for about 4-1/2 hours."It's a decision that the pilot makes," Vargas told reporters in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. "Weather conditions influence a lot, but he had alternatives in Bogota in case of a fuel deficiency."
With inputs from agencies