Deportes

Colombian club calls for Brazilian rival to be awarded Sudamericana Cup

Colombian club calls for Brazilian rival to be awarded Sudamericana Cup

"This is unbelievable, I am walking on the grass of the stadium and I feel like I am floating", Andrei Copetti, a team spokesman said.

"Atletico Nacional deeply regrets and sympathises with the family and friends of Chapecoense", Atletico Nacional said in a statement on their website.

Football legends Pele and Maradona as well as current superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo led tributes to the players of Chapecoense Real, a humble team whose march to glory was cut abruptly short.

Some of the biggest names in sport sent their condolences to the little team from Chapeco in southern Brazil.

Neymar, the FC Barcelona forward and most celebrated Brazilian footballer playing today, used the prayer emoji to mark the tragedy.

Chapecoense have shared video footage of the team's dressing-room celebrations after their Copa Sudamericana semi-final win, in honour of the players who were killed in a plane crash on Monday.

The soccer club made a statement on its Facebook page, asking that "God be with our athletes, leaders, journalists and other guests who are along with the delegation".

"This morning I said goodbye to them and they told me they were going after the dream, turning that dream into reality", Chapecoense board member told TV Globo.

"A really sad day for football".

Chapecoense goalkeeper Danilo has passed away in hospital, despite initially being named as one of the survivors in the tragic air crash that occurred in Colombia.

Gianni Infantino, president of the world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association also expressed his shock and sadness.

Chapecoense had captured the imagination of football fans across Brazil with its meteoric rise from the fourth division to Brazil's Serie A.

"Corinthians offers strength to all friends of Chapecoense at this hard time", it said. "At the same time, wishing an early recovery for the survivors".

Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho and Chelsea winger Willian are two of 12 Brazilian players now applying their trade in the Premier League and both have used social media to express their regret for the tragedy which has unfolded.

Image copyright Twitter/Corinthians Image caption Corinthians tweeted: "All clubs are united in praying for the lives of these people".

Spanish champions Barcelona meanwhile tweeted: "All our support and solidarity is with the victims and the families affected by the ChapecoenseReal tragedy in Colombia". - Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa on Instagram.

"Heart goes out to the families of the Chapecoense soccer team." - rapper Lil Wayne on Twitter.