Christian Benitez Death: Ecuador Soccer Star, 27, Has Heart Attack

Image: Christian Benitez Death: Ecuador Soccer Star, 27, Has Heart Attack

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013 08:44 AM

By Clyde Hughes

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Christian Benitez, a popular Ecuadoran soccer star, died suddenly Sunday in Doha in Qatari after being taken to a hospital, less than a month after signing with Qatari club El Jaish, stunning soccer fans around the world.

Benitez, 27, was admitted to a hospital after severe stomach pains and died of a heart attack hours later, according the Ecuador Football Federation.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

The Ecuadorian team had high hopes for Benitez, who played for his country's World Cup team since 2006. Soccer fans expected he would give team a boost at next year's competition in Brazil. His 24 international goals made him the third highest scorer overall on Ecuador's national team, CNN International reported.

Benitez, known by the nickname "Chucho," was the top scorer in the Mexican league last season.

Manchester United star Antonio Valencia, who played with Benitez in Ecuador a decade ago, was among those who expressed sadness by the loss.

"This pain (is) very strong my brother but we love you," Valencia wrote on Twitter.

BBC Sports reported Birmingham, where Benitez played professionally, will mark the player's death ahead of Saturday's championship match against Watford at St Andrew's.

"The thoughts of all associated with the club are with Chucho's family and friends at this very sad time," the club said in statement. "The Ecuador international was an immensely popular character during his time at the club."

Lee Carsley, one of Benitez's former Birmingham teammates told BBC Sports that the Ecuador star was a popular teammate with immense soccer talent.

"It's devastating news for his family and I'm sure Birmingham City will want to pay their respects," said Carsley, the former Republic of Ireland midfielder. "I remember he had outstanding ability, was very quick and was a bit of a free spirit. He had a big personality and he burst on to the scene when he came on at Old Trafford in 2009."

Another former Birmingham teammate, Craig Gardner, tweeted to BBC Sports: "Cannot believe Christian Benitez has died. I had the pleasure to play with him. He was a top bloke. My thoughts go out to his family."

Benitez was the son of Ermen Benitez, one of Ecuador's all-time leading goal scorers.

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related stories:

Soccer Referee Beheaded by Angry Fans in Brazil

David Beckham, NFL Kicker? Team Wanted Tryout from Soccer Star, Report Says

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Duchess of Alba Dies: World's Most Titled Aristocrat Was 88

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 15:37 PM

The Duchess of Alba, one of Europe's wealthiest and most titled aristocrats, has died. She was 88. . . .

Don Lemon Apologizes for 'Victim-Blaming' Run-in With Cosby Rape Accuser

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 15:32 PM

CNN anchor Don Lemon has apologized after he was accused of victim-blaming a Bill Cosby rape accuser he interviewed earl . . .

Thai Theaters Ban 'Mockingjay,' Salute: 3 Students Detained at Opening

Thursday, 20 Nov 2014 14:54 PM

A Thai theater chain has banned "Mockingjay" and the country's military-imposed government detained three students this  . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved