The Brazilian Chapacoense’s story is one filled with tragedy but also beautiful football moments against all of the odds.
The plane crash tragedy in 2016 shook the world, and what has happened over the years since then has been a story of bravery and magical football moments. The club was devastated but the team somehow stayed in the top flight for three years before being relegated in November 2019.
This season they started in the second tier of Brazil football, and another fightback against adversity was needed. Alan Ruschell survived the plane crash in 2016, and at the time he was a loan player at the club but now captains the team.
They had had a great season in Serie B and were going into the final game of the season at the weekend with a chance of winning some silverware and becoming the second-tier champions. Their rivals America Mineiro won 2-1 and it means Chapacoense would need to win by at least two goals in their game to finish in top spot.
They took an early lead through Anselmo Ramon, but their opponents Confianca equalised in the 55th minute. It meant two more goals were needed, and Pedro Henrique Perotti fired Chapecoense back in front with 11 minutes of normal play to go. The game was deep into injury time when Chapacoense were given a chance to seal the win and the title with a penalty awarded in the 98th minute.
Opening goalscorer Ramon was given with the task of converting, and he did so in the coolest fashion with a panenka into the back of the net as the keeper dived to his right.
Club captain Ruschell was able to lift the trophy in emotional scenes that show just how much heart this club have, and all football fans around the world will be happy to see them back in the top flight of Brazilian football. #mmlove