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Brazilian soccer team plane crash hits close to home for one FC Tucson player

Posted: 10:54 PM, Nov 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-30 05:54:58Z
A chartered plane carrying a Brazilian first division soccer team crashed outside Medellin , Colombia, while on its way to the finals of a regional tournament. Colombian officials say 71 people were killed.
 
One soccer player who knew several players on the Chapecoense team is FC Tucson forward Alfonso Pinheiro, a native of Sao Paulo.
 
Pineiro is currently attending school at the University of Albany, where he face-timed with sports director Jason Barr.
 
"They were a team that was literally, uniting the whole country, said Pinheiro. "All we saw the last week was the celebrations, their fans, documentaries about the team. Today, you way up and they are gone."
 
The small Brazilian team was flying to Colombia to play Atletico Nacional when its plane when its plane went down.
 
"I don't have words to describe how sad the whole country is, added Pineheiro. "Even though they didn't get that title, they are going to be a team that is remembered for the rest of our lives."
 
Three team members were among the six that survived.
 
One of them, goalkeeper Jakson Follmann, had to have his right leg amputated as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.
 
The Colombian soccer team that was scheduled to play the ill-fated Brazilian club in a South American championship says it's offering the title to the rivals whose plane has crashed.