A Nightmare End to Brazil’s Dream Team


By Tim Stannard

1) Chapecoense squad involved in plane crash tragedy

True tragedy and sorrow struck the world of football on Monday night when a plane carrying members of Brazilian football team, Chapecoense, crashed on route to the Colombian city of Medellin after the pilot had declared an emergency due to power failure.

There were 72 passengers and nine crew on board and only five confirmed survivors according to current reports. The Serie A side were due to be playing Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final on Wednesday, a dream match for a team that was hailed by its own coach as the Leicester City of Brazilian football in terms of its remarkable success and achievements in recent years. The head of the president of the Chapecoense board, Plínio David de Nês Filho, who was not on the flight, told Brazilian television that “this wasn’t just a group of people who respected each other professionally. It was a family, a group of friends.”

The President of Brazil, Michel Temer, declared that there will be three days of mourning in the country. Meanwhile, CONMEBOL – the South American football governing body – has announced that all activity has been suspended until further notice.


2) World of football mourns Chapecoense disaster

Reaction has been widespread from the global football family, shocked by the tragic events in Colombia. Neymar posted to his Instagram account that it was “impossible to believe in this tragedy, impossible to believe in the event.” Clubs all over the world have shared their condolences and tributes.

The tragedy came very close to home for both Real Mallorca and Atletico Madrid with confirmation that Cleber Santana, a midfielder for both teams, was amongst those who lost their lives in the crash.


3) Luis Enrique defends Barcelona style in Clasico countdown

The events in Colombia have served a reminder of what true “tragedy” and “disaster” is in football, ahead of El Clasico. However, Saturday’s match up between Barcelona and Real Madrid is the dominant sporting story. Luis Enrique was speaking to the media on Tuesday ahead of Barca’s Copa del Rey clash against Hercules a day later and said that his team would remain faithful to their style.

Barcelona could well have a huge boost ahead of the game with the return of Andres Iniesta, who is tipped by local media to start the Camp Nou clash.

Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for all the latest Clasico news and also the best action from Tuesday’s Copa del Rey games which are all available on beIN CONNECT from 2PM ET / 11AM PT onwards.


4) Casemiro set to start Clasico countdown against Cultural

There are no major injury issues in the Real Madrid camp with Casemiro expected to start the club’s second-leg Copa del Rey clash against Cultural on Wednesday, to prove his fitness ahead of the Clasico. One footballer completely ruled of the game, Gareth Bale, is currently in London and set for surgery to repair ankle ligament damage that rules the forward out for the rest of 2016.


5) Klopp on Coutinho loss ahead of Leeds

England’s EFL Cup has now reached the quarterfinal stages. Liverpool takes pride of place on beIN SPORTS from 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT on Tuesday with the club’s clash against visiting Leeds United, a true sleeping giant of English football. One footballer who sadly won’t be on the pitch at a big night in Anfield is Philippe Coutinho who is out for up to six weeks after suffering ankle-ligament damage in the weekend’s win over Sunderland. “It’s not the best thing I can imagine or dream about, to show that we can play without Phil, but we have to show it and we will show it,” said a pragmatic Jurgen Klopp ahead of the game.

Hull City host Newcastle United in Tuesday’s second quarterfinal clash, a game that is live on beIN SPORTS Connect from 2.45PM ET / 11:30AM PT.



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