Chapecoense plane crash survivor Ruschel secures Cruzeiro move

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — Chapecoense plane crash survivor Alan Ruschel has agreed to join Cruzeiro on a free transfer, the Brazilian Serie B club said late on Friday.

The 31-year-old will be tied to the Belo Horizonte outfit until December 2022, having agreed to personal terms this week after his contract with Chapecoense expired on January 31.

“Aiming to assemble a strong squad for the 2021 season, Cruzeiro’s board agreed on Friday to hire Alan Ruschel,” read a statement on Cruzeiro’s official website.

Ruschel was one of only six survivors of the 2016 LaMia air tragedy in Colombia that killed 71 people, including most of the Brazilian club’s players and coaching staff.

The left-back spent more than two weeks in hospital following the crash and underwent back surgery before returning to the pitch nine months later.

Cruzeiro, who were relegated from Brazil’s top flight in 2019, finished 11th in the recently completed Serie B season, meaning they will remain in Brazilian football’s second tier in 2021.

Demoted to the Serie B in December 2019, Chapecoense guaranteed their return to Brazil’s top division last month. Ruschel played a key role in the club’s improved fortunes, having been appointed captain in early 2020 after a loan spell at Goias. Enditem

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