Ecuador striker Benitez dies age 27

Ecuador: Ecuador international Christian Benitez passed away on Monday age 27, his club El Jaish have confirmed.

The striker, nicknamed Chucho, had recently completed a move to the Qatari outfit from Club America but he has passed away before making his debut, though there are conflicting reports as to how he died.

"The club sends its condolences to Ecuadorean Christian Benitez, a professional footballer who died this morning," El Jaish wrote on their official Twitter account.

Ecuadorian team-mate Antonio Valencia of Manchester United expressed his condolences having been informed of Benitez`s death.

"You`ll always be my brother. This pain is hard, my brother, but we love you," the winger, who also played alongside the 27-year-old at El Nacional, posted on Twitter.

Cleber Chala, another former team-mate of Benitez`s at El Nacional, tweeted: "You will live in our hearts forever, Chucho."

The ex-Santos Laguna and Birmingham City forward appeared 58 times for Ecuador during his career, scoring 24 goals.

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