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Brazilian football great Ronaldinho is ready to come out of retirement to play for Chapecoense in an effort to help rebuild the club after the devastating plane crash in Colombia on Monday night killed the majority of their squad, coaching team and club staff.
71 people died in the crash in the mountainous region near Medellin in Colombia, including 19 first-team members, with Chapecoense travelling across the continent for their Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional.
The funerals of the Chapecoense players will take place later today, with Fifa president Gianni Infantino travelling to Brazil to attend after postponing his trip to Australia for the women’s Under-20s World Cup, and thousands of fans have taken part in three days of national mourning across the country.
Brazilian clubs have already united to offer Chapecoense player on loan for free, while a request has also been made to rule them exempt from relegation for the next three years. However, the Brazilian Football Condeferation [CBF] have already caused controversy by ordering the club to play their final Serie A match of the season, according to current stand-in president Ivan Tozzo.
In an effort to help out the club, both Ronaldinho and former Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme are reported to be willing to sign for the club and help them out in a desperate time of need.
Ronaldinho’s agent and brother, Roberto Assis, confirmed that the former Brazil international is ready to help out the club in any way possible, though he did stress that no talks have been held as now is not the time to discuss football with the tragedy still fresh in everyone’s minds.
“It is a very difficult time,” Assis told 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.
“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.”
2016.12.02 / 14:48