Rafael Henzel, Chapecoense Plane Crash Survivor, Passes Away Aged 45
Rafael Henzel, a survivor of the Chapecoense plane crash, has sadly died aged 45 after suffering a heart attack while playing football.
Henzel, a respected football reporter and commentator, was one of six passengers to survive the tragedy in November 2016, which claimed the lives of 71 people.
Chapecoense were travelling to Medellin to take on Atletico Nacional in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final.
Globo Esporte reported that Henzel collapsed playing football in the southern city of Chapeco and doctors were unable to prevent him from passing away after he was rushed to hospital.
The club announced the heartbreaking news on their official club website and paid tribute to “a symbol of the club’s reconstruction”.
“Throughout his brilliant career, Rafael told the story of Chapecoense,” a piece on the Chapecoense website read.
“He was a symbol of the club’s reconstruction and he will always be remembered in the green and white pages of this institution.”
Tributes poured in for Henzel, who had not long since written a book titled ‘Life as if you were living’.
According to commentator Juan Arango, Chapecoense have asked for their upcoming game against Criciuma to be postponed out of respect for Henzel.
Our thoughts are with Rafael’s family and friends at this time.