All you need to know about Brazil side involved in plane crash

The Brazilian outfit were involved in a plane crash on their way to the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Macional

Chapecoense team pose before their Copa Sudamericana semifinal first leg
Chapecoense team pose before their Copa Sudamericana semifinal first leg (Photo: AFP/Getty)

Brazilian side Chapecoense were on their way to Medellin airport when it disappeared off radar on Monday night, before crashing in Colombia.

The chartered flight is believed to have been carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, the country’s civil aviation board confirmed.

That included the Verdão’s first team squad, on their way to a first ever continental final.

Chape have enjoyed something of a meteoric rise in recent years, having for so long been seen as something of a minor club in Brazil, since their inception in 1973.

So who exactly are they? Here’s everything you need to know:

Brazil's Chapecoense footballers celebrate after defeating Argentina's San Lorenzo
Brazil’s Chapecoense footballers celebrate after defeating Argentina’s San Lorenzo (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Early history

Associação Chapecoense de Futebol were only founded in 1973, following the merger if Atletico Chapecoense and Independente.

Based in the city of Chapeco, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, the club won its first title just four years later, in 1977, beating local rivals Avai.

The following year, they competed for the first time in the Brazilian championship but were relegated from the top division in 1979 – they didn’t return until 2014.

During the intervening period, they won three more state titles (1996, 2007, 2011).

Video thumbnail, Rescuers race to help survivors of Brazil team plane crash

Name change

In 2002, the club changed its name to Associação Chapecoense Kindermann/Mastervet, after partnering with the sports marketing company.

They reverted to their original name just four years later.

Return to the top division

In 2013, Chape achieved promotion from Serie B, after finishing second in the 20-team league, behind only champions Palmeiras (the five-time Brazilian champions).

Built around a solid defence – conceding just 31 goals in 38 games – the team led by Gilmar Dal Pozzo lost just six matches all season, to claim a place in Serie A and end their 35 year absence.

 Subsequent rise

At their modest long-time home, the Arena Conda and led by a new manager, Celso Rodrigues, the Verdao claimed safety with a 15th place finish, winning 11 of their 38 games, on their way to 43 points.

On-loan striker Leandro was the late-season hero, firing them to safety with 10 goals – all in their final four months of the season.

That also meant a place in the Copa Sudamericana – the sister competition to the Copa Libertadores (think Europa League to Champions League) – but were beaten in the last eight by River Plate.

Kempes celebrates after scoring
Chapecoense players at Botafogo (Photo: Getty)

In 2015 they finished 14th, improving their position by four points despite the twice changing coaches, with Guto Ferreira eventually leading them to another year in Serie A.

Ferreira left in June for Bahia, to be replaced by Caio Junior, a former striker with Gremio and Internacional, as well as Vitoria Guimaraes and Belenenses in Portugal.

In their third year in the top division, Chape currently sit ninth, with just one game left in the 2016 campaign.

Alan Ruschel of Chapecoense makes a challenge against Palmeiras (Photo: Getty Images)

Copa Sud run

In this year’s continental competition, Chapecoense have reached their first ever continental final.

Arriving at the second stage, they claimed victory over fellow Brazilians Cuiaba (3-2 on aggregate), before beating Argentine heavyweights Independiente on penalties in the round of 16 (following back-to-back 0-0 draws).

A 3-0 home win over Colombian outfit Junior in the quarter-final second leg ensured a place in the final four, having lost the first leg 1-0 in Barranquilla.

Ananias celebrates after scoring
Ananias celebrates after scoring the crucial away goal (Photo: AFP/Getty)
Ananias and teammates celebrate Chapecoense's first goal
Celebrating the crucial away goal in San Lorenzo (Photo: LatinContent/Getty)

Another Argentine side, San Lorenzo, awaited in the semi-finals, and Chape left Buenos Aires with a 1-1 draw in their pocket, midfielder Ananias netting a second-half equaliser, after Martin Cauteruccio had opened the scoring in the first period for the hosts.

In the home leg, the relative minnows held their own and claimed a place in the two-legged final courtesy of a 0-0 draw, handing them an away goals victory.

Plane crash

On their way to the opening leg of the final, against Atletico Nacional – the current Copa Libertadores holders – the chartered jet carrying Chapecoense to the Colombian capital of Medellin crashed.

The jet was also carrying Brazilian journalists among its 81 on board. Mayor of Medellin, Federico Gutierrez, has described the accident as “a tragedy of huge proportions.”

Alleged picture showing the Brazilian football team Chapecoense
Picture showing the Brazilian team Chapecoense on the aircraft (Photo: Twitter)

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it was suspending “all activities”.

The plane in question had been used to transport the Argentina national team earlier this month during the international break.

The debris of the plane carrying the Brazilian football team Chapecoense that crashed in a mountainous area outside the Colombian city of Medellin
The debris of the plane carrying the Brazilian football team Chapecoense (Photo: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock)

Who was on board?

In total there were 82 people on board – 72 passengers and nine crew.

Of those passengers, 22 were players from Chapecoense, according to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.

The club’s 27-year-old defender Alan Ruschel was the first survivor to arrive at La Ceja hospital. According to reports, he arrived with a broken hip and head injuries. Goalkeeper Danilo was also identified as a survivor.

However, local police chiefs in Antoquia saying they were looking at 75 deaths and six survivors.

Full squad: 1. Danilo 2. Giminez 3. Rafael Lima 4. Neto 5. Josimar 6. Dener 7. Lourency 8. Gil 9. Bruno Rangel 10. Hyoran 11. Ananias 12. Marcelo Boeck 13. Marcelo 21. Mateus Caramelo 23. Lucas Gomes 27. Willian Thiego 28. Moises 30. Nenem 33. Kempes 35. Sergio Manoel 36. Nivaldo 40. Jakson Follmann 41. Claudio Winck 44. Demerson 45. Filipe Machado 50. Arthur Maia 70. Ailton Canela 77. Matheus Biteco 85. Rafael Bastos 87. Alejandro Martinuccio 88. Cleber Santana 89. Alan Ruschel 94. Tiaguinho.