Tribute to Soccer Team Reads "They Didn't Tire of Going Up, and They Arrived in Heaven"Their rise to the top was meteoric; a phenomena that caught the world's attention. Chapecoense has been described as the Cinderella Story of Brazilian soccer. Juliano Belletti, former player for the Brazilian national team, says the club's sudden skyrocketing position "brought joy and hope" to Brazil. Then came Monday's tragic accident.
Chapecoense was scheduled to play in the finals of the Copa Sudamericana. Their flight to Medellin, Columbia, went down carrying 77 people. There are only six survivors. There were a total of twenty-two players aboard that flight. Three remain. The plane was meant to stop to refuel in Bolivia, but that stop was cancelled because the scheduled airport does not operate at night. As a result, the plane ran out of fuel and went down. The crash marks the sudden and horrifying end to an incredible rise for the team. That rise was something that the Chapecoense soccer club Facebook page touched on with their tribute. The image was shared with the following caption:
2009 - 4th Division 2012 - 3rd Division 2013 - 2nd Division 2014 - 1st Division 2016 - South-American Championship final. They didn't tire of going up, and they arrived in heaven.
The image depicts the fallen players lined up atop heavenly clouds as God places a halo on each of their heads in much the same way they would have been accustomed to receiving medals. Atletico Nacional was scheduled to play against Chapecoense in the finals. The team asked that Chapecoense be named the champions. Hopefully, the image brings comfort to fans, friends and family who are grieving and understandably angry after the incident.
H/T: New York Times, Twitter, The Guardian