Chapecoense goalkeeper Nivaldo has decided to retire just one day after a tragic plane crash killed a majority of his teammates in Colombia.
Nivaldo, 42, did not travel to the Copa Sudamerica final against Atlético Nacional on Wednesday in Medellín because he wanted to make his 300th league match in a Chapecoense uniform against Atlético Mineiro. He did not play in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Palmeiras so that the milestone appearance would take place before a home crowd.
“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 (on Sunday), because it would make my farewell game to play here against Atletico-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 Sao Paulo to Medellín. So Caio [the coach] said he would not take me.”
Watch Nivaldo's announcement below:
An investigation is underway into why the plane crashed. Officials are planning a tribute to the victims in Condá Arena stadium in Chapecó.
Atlético Nacional has asked the South American Football Federation to name Chapecoense the champions.