Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Pele, Ronaldinho pay tributes to Flamengo fire victims

Pele, Ronaldinho pay tributes to Flamengo fire victims

February 8, in an accommodation block at the facility of the club.

As news of the fire broke, several teams and players tweeted their condolences. A gun battle followed and at least 12 people died.

Flamengo senior team are regarded as the most popular club in in Brazil and they play all their home games at the famous Maracana stadium.

The victims have not been named but are said to include young players staying at Ninho de Urubu, the training ground of Flamengo football club in Rio de Janeiro.

The three injured youths - Jhonata Cruz Ventura (15 years), Cauan Emanuel Gomes Nunes (14), and Francisco Diogo Bento Alves (15) were taken to area hospitals, the club said on Friday.

Beatriz Busch, the public health secretary for the state of Rio de Janeiro, said two of the injured were in stable condition while a third was in critical condition.

After years of financial difficulties, Flamengo last year spent 23 million reais (5 million pounds) to expand the Ninho do Urubu training ground.

The facility, which translates to the "Vulture's Nest", is so called because the club's symbol is a vulture.

Passion for soccer runs deep in Brazil, and as news of the tragedy spread, numerous world's best players and top officials expressed condolences.

"Flamengo is in mourning" the team said on its Twitter account.

It would appear that upon hearing the news, Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr - who joined from the Braziian club, tweeted: "What sad news!" "Thank God I managed to run and I'm still alive".

Outside the complex, an Associated Press reporter saw two ambulances and a fire truck enter.

Known by fans as the red-and-black, they won the Copa Libertadores, South America's version of the Champions League, in 1981 and lifted the Intercontinental Cup a few months later.

Earlier, had reported how Brazilian and Everton summer signing Richarlison revealed how he nearly quit football when he was young before hitting his breakthrough.

Messages to Flamengo officials were not immediately answered.

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