Barcelona moves on from Ney­mar to hon­our Chapecoense

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

Barcelona, Spain - Barcelona eased into life with­out Ney­mar by hon­our­ing Chapecoense, the Brazil­ian side still reel­ing from a dev­as­tat­ing plane crash that killed 19 play­ers and 24 club of­fi­cials last year, in a 5-0 friendly win on Mon­day.

On an emo­tional night for the vis­i­tors, Chapecoense was cap­tained by Alan Ruschel, one of only three play­ers to sur­vive the crash, on his re­turn to ac­tion.

Ruschel was joined by the two other sur­vivors Ni­eto and Jak­son Foll­mann from the squad which was on its way to face Atletico Na­cional in the fi­nal of the Copa Su­damer­i­cana when the air­craft crashed into the Colom­bian moun­tains on Novem­ber 28 last year, killing 71 peo­ple. Ni­eto and Foll­mann, who had his right leg am­pu­tated af­ter the crash, both broke down in tears as they were in­vited to take an honorary kick-off in front of a crowd of 65,000 at the Camp Nou.

"I am filled with hap­pi­ness to be re­turn­ing to play," Ruschel told Span­ish news­pa­per Marca.

"I am one of the hap­pi­est peo­ple in the world be­cause I am liv­ing some­thing al­most un­think­able. I con­sider my­self for­tu­nate to be in Spain, fac­ing Barcelona, play­ing in a sta­dium where I never thought I would be."

Ruschel also got a sou­venir to savour as he swapped shirts with five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi af­ter full-time.

On a sport­ing level the Cata­lan giants have had a tur­bu­lent week with star Brazil­ian for­ward Ney­mar join­ing Paris Saint-Ger- main (PSG) for a world record US$264mn trans­fer fee.

Barca is ex­pected to splash some of that cash in the com­ing weeks with a host of play­ers ru­moured to be pos­si­ble Ney­mar re­place­ments, in­clud­ing Liver­pool's Phillipe Coutinho and Ous­mane Dem­bele of Borus­sia Dort­mund.

How­ever, Ger­ard Deulofeu made his case to at least keep his place for Sun­day's Span­ish Su­per Cup first leg against Real Madrid with a goal and two as­sists be­fore half-time.

The for­mer Ever­ton winger opened the scor­ing with a tap-in and his cut-back was then curled into the top cor­ner by Ser­gio Bus­quets to make it 2-0.

Messi got his goal when he slot­ted home Deulofeu's low cross be­fore Ruschel was given a stand­ing ova­tion as he was sub­sti­tuted af­ter 35 min­utes.

Luis Suarez fi­nally man­aged to get his name on the score­sheet ten min­utes af­ter the break be­fore De­nis Suarez rounded off the scor­ing.

Lionel Messi and Alan Ruschel hug each other

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.