“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that,” said former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly.
The recent tragedy that struck football, where an aircraft carrying 81 passengers, which included the Brazilian first-division side, Chapecoense Real crashed on the outskirts of Medellin, Colombia, killing 71 passengers.
Shankly was wrong. No sport can ever grow to big as big as life and death. Not even 10 trophies can shake off the darkness that has engulfed Brazil at the moment. A tragedy of this proportion has happened before, most notably with Manchester United in Munich in 1958 and the Zambian national team in 1993.
Tributes have come pouring in for Chapecoense, who were flying to play the Copa Sudamericana final, and the other Brazilian clubs have even offered to loan them out players for free. A three-day mourning period has been announced in Brazil.
Liverpool FC held a moment’s silence before fans sung You’ll Never Walk Alone in memory of the departed victims.
American band Guns N’ Roses paid tribute with a rendition of one of their classics, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.
The club also posted its own tribute, saying Eternos Campeões, meaning eternal champions.
Atletico Nacional, the club that Chapecoense would play in the final, and their fans also gathered at their stadium to pay their last respects.
And across the world, famous landmarks were lit up in green, the colours of Chapecoense.