Chapecoense goalkeeper Nivaldo confirms retirement after plane crash

• 42-year-old had been due to play 300th and final game for club
• ‘I was supposed to go on the trip but ended up staying’

The Chapecoense goalkeeper Nivaldo has confirmed his retirement 24 hours after the plane crash that killed 71 passengers in Colombia, including the majority of his team-mates.

Nivaldo did not travel with the the rest of the squad for the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana final match against Atlético Nacional on Wednesday in Medellín because he was due to make his 300th appearance for the club in this weekend’s league match against Atlético Mineiro. The 42-year-old also missed Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Palmeiras so he could make the landmark appearance in front of his home crowd, but he said on Wednesday he would not play again.

“I was supposed to go on the trip but ended up staying,” Nivaldo told Globoesporte. “Everything has a reason in life. I didn’t travel to Palmeiras because it would make my farewell game to play here against Atlético-MG, when I would complete 300 games for the club.

“As there was a change in the trip, they would not return to Chapeco and instead go straight from São Paulo to Medellín. So Caio [the coach] said he would not take me.”

Chapecoense fans mourn plane crash victims at football stadium

Chapecoense officials are planning a high-profile tribute to all of the victims at the Condá Arena stadium in Chapecó, the small Brazilian city in Santa Catarina state where the club is based. Investigations are continuing into the cause of the accident, with Brazilian and Colombian newspapers suggesting the plane might have run out of fuel in the final stages of its flight.

Vídeo: Nivaldo, goleiro há 10 anos na @ChapecoenseReal , que não embarcou para a Colômbia.

— Eduardo Matos (@_eduardomatos) November 30, 2016


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