Football

Ronaldinho offers help to Chapecoense

Former Brazil forward Ronaldinho is determined to do what he can to help Chapecoense's efforts to rebuild after the devastating plane crash in Colombia, according to his brother.

The charter jet carrying the Chapecoense team, along with club officials and journalists, to Medellin for their Copa Sudamericana final match against Colombian side Atletico Nacional came down late on Monday night.

The extent of Chapecoense's loss became clear with the confirmed deaths of 19 players and also officials of the Brazilian club who were on the flight.

Just three of the team - defender Alan Luciano Ruschel, reserve goalkeeper Jackson Ragnar Follmann and centre back Helio Hermito Zampier Neto - were named among only six survivors of the crash, which killed 71 people.

Chapecoense's acting president Ivan Tozzo says the club are determined to rebuild.

Brazil's leading clubs have already pledged to loan players to Chapecoense for free and asked for them to be safeguarded from relegation from the top flight for the next three seasons.

Reports also emerged Ronaldinho would be willing to offer his services for free to Chapecoense, which saw messages posted on the official Facebook page of the 36-year-old 2002 World Cup winner urging him to pull his boots on once again.

"He (Ronaldinho) fits the profile, can be the right guy, but the moment is to help families and it would be (wrong) to create expectations for now," said Roberto Assis, the player's brother and agent.

"I can only say that we are here and we want to help." - PA Sport

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