Brazilian football team Chapecoense have lost the majority of their players in the plane crash in Colombia that killed at least 71 people, leaving the nine squad members who did not take part in the trip shocked and dismayed.
Chapecoense forward Alejandro Martinuccio was supposed to be the 23rd player in the roster to face Atletico Nacional in the first leg in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, but an injury kept him in Brazil.
Speaking to Radio LaRed, the player said: "It's a very difficult time. I got up with this news. I am very sad." He further explained that he got injured a month and a half ago and thus was unable to play.
The Argentine Martinuccio was signed to the Brazilian football team in April 2016, after an almost two-year spell on the sidelines due to a series of injuries and surgeries on both his legs.
Along with Martinuccio, the eight other Chapecoense players who stayed in Brazil while the team travelled to Medellin for the match were goalkeepers Marcelo Boeck and Nivalvo, defenders Rafael Lima and Demerson and midfielders Andrei, Moisés, Hyoram and Neném.
Martinuccio told the radio he went to the training ground to meet teammates and other team officials, and were all waiting for more news to come in. Photos shared on social media see players in the changing room lighting candles for their teammates. "This club is wonderful, some first class teammates. The truth is that things happen, you do not why they happen. Everyone is here very sad, all this is very difficult," said Martinuccio.
"Let's hope God has a miracle," he added "All I can say is that they pray for my companions who were on the trip," a message he also tweeted to his and the team's supporters.
"Pray for my teammates please," the tweet reads.