Former Chelsea star the latest to make Chapecoense gesture

Eidur Gudjohnsen: Shocked by tragedy

Eidur Gudjohnsen: Shocked by tragedy

Eidur Gudjohnsen has become the latest big-name footballer to offer his services to Brazilian club Chapecoense.

Brazil’s leading football clubs have pledged to loan players to Chapecoense – who lost 19 players in an air disaster which killed 71 people last week – for free and asked for them to be safeguarded from relegation from the top flight for the next three seasons.

Former Brazil forward Ronaldinho and ex-Argentina international Juan Roman Riquelme have reportedly offered to play for the club, which could also enlist the help of another Barcelona old boy.

“Out of respect I would play for @ChapecoenseReal if they have a place for me! If not just to play with @10Ronaldinho again #ForcaChape,” the 38-year-old Gudjohnsen, whose last club was FC Pune City, posted on Twitter.

Chapecoense’s acting president Ivan Tozzo has stated the club – which came up through the lower divisions after only being founded in 1973 – is determined to build again, but that can only be done with the support of the wider football community.

The charter jet carrying the Chapecoense team, along with club officials and journalists, to Medellin for their Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombian side Atletico Nacional came down late last Monday.

The extent of Chapecoense’s loss became clear with the confirmed deaths of 19 players and also officials of the Brazilian club who were on the flight.

Just three of the team – defender Alan Luciano Ruschel, reserve goalkeeper Jackson Ragnar Follmann and centre-back Helio Hermito Zampier Neto – were named among only six survivors of the crash.