Ecuadorian soccer star Christian 'Chucho' Benítez died in Qatar at the age of 27 on Monday, the Eljaish Sports Club confirmed via an online statement.
Benítez recently left Mexico’s Club América to sign a 3 year contract with Eljaish on July 6. The soccer star’s official cause of death is still unknown though several Spanish-language media outlets allege the player died of cardiac arrest.
The statement released by the Qatar soccer club, however, states that Benítez played in his first match with the team on Sunday “without complaining from any health problems.”
The full statement read:
Eljaish Sports Club mourns the new Ecuadorian professional player Christian Benitez who passed away this morning.
Eljaish management extends their sincere condolences to the family of the late player.
Benitez has recently joined Eljaish first football team by 3 years contract as replacement of the former professional player Karim Ziani. Benitez was former player of Club America in Mexico before joining Eljaish Sports Club.
Benitez has participated in yesterday`s match for the first time. The match was played against Qatar club within the 3rd round of Sheikh Jassim Cup championship 2013. Benitez participated in the match without complaining from any health problems.
The sudden death of Benitez came as shock for the all team players and members of the technical and administrative staff and all members of Eljaish club family.
During his short stay with Eljaish team, Benitez proved to be a man of high morals.
The team also announced the soccer player’s passing via their official Twitter account.
Eljaish management extends their sincere condolenses to the family of the late football player,Christian Benitez who passed away Today.
— Eljaish Sports Club (@EljaishSC) July 29, 2013
As news of Benítez spread online, newscasters and players began to tweet out their messages of condolences on Twitter. Take a look at Twitter reactions to the star’s death above.