Chapecoense were founded in 1973 in the town of Chapeco in southern of Brazil – the result of a merger between two amateur teams.
After languishing in Brazil’s lower leagues for almost four decades they made a remarkable return to the topflight in 2014 and have stayed their ever since, mixing it up with more renowned clubs such as Corinthians and Santos.
Having seen off more illustrious opponents in the earlier rounds of the competition this little-known team outside of Brazil were about to play the biggest game in the club’s history; the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Colombian side Atletico Nacional.
It was a modest squad of players who showed impressive ambition and punched far above their weight.
They were the first Brazilian team in three years to make it to the final but their football fairytale has now ended in the most tragic of circumstances.
A tragedy that has left a town, a nation and an entire sport in shock.
Flags at the Brazilian FA have been flying at half mast while three days of national mourning have been announced in Brazil.
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona paid tribute on Tuesday morning.
Before their training sessions both La Liga sides observed a minutes’ silence in memory of the Chape players who lost their lives.
Manchester United, who lost eight players and three staff members in a 1958 plane crash in Munich were among many other teams to unite in grief and send a message of support to a club that was supposed to be celebrating a stunning achievement in it’s history.
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