Who Are Chapecoense? A Profile Of Brazil’s Tragic Team

The football world was in shock on Tuesday morning when news broke that a flight containing members of one of Brazil’s top sides had crashed in Colombia, killing 76 people.

Chapecoense were flying to play in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana, with the winner qualifying for the Copa Libertadores, South America’s top continental competition. We’ve taken a look at their recent history.

Location: Chapeco, in the state of Santa Catarina
Stadium: Arena Condá
Capacity: 22,600

The team were formed in 1973 after a merger of two amateur teams. As recently as 2008, they were languishing in the lower echelons of Brazilian football, failing to even qualify to compete in Brazil’s Serie D. However they have been on the rise in very single year since.

Recent League Finishes
2009 3rd, Serie D
2010 7th Serie C
2011 6th Serie C
2012 3rd Serie C
2013 2nd Serie B
2014 15th Serie A
2015 14th Serie A
2016 Currently 9th in Serie A

Colombia Air Crash

This season alone, they saw off top Argentinian sides Independiente and San Lorenzo en route to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the first leg of which was due to take place on Wednesday.

This recent success has drawn comparisons with Leicester City’s experience in England, even with their own manager Caio Júnior.

Our team really reminds me of Leicester, a team from an unfancied city that was able to win an important title. I want to make a mark this season with this club, this group of players.

His words couldn’t look more poignant after Tuesday’s tragic events in Medellín.