Last night, Alan Ruschel - a survivor of the 2016 Chapecoense plane crash that killed 71 of the 77 people on board - lifted the Brasileiro Série B title as club captain.
Ruschel, who was one of three players amongst the six survivors of the LaMia Flight 2933 crash on November 28, is the only member of that squad still playing today after the accident in Cerro Gordo, Colombia.
The left-back suffered a serious back injury that required surgery but a few days later, pictures of Ruschel walking again emerged and his road to recovery had officially begun.
Nine months later, he played his first game since the incident - a Joan Gamper Trophy clash against Barcelona - where he received a standing ovation in the meantime.
But even he must have wondered about his long-term future in the game after such a horrific injury in the most harrowing of circumstances.
That being said, a determined Ruschel has come back fighting, four years on from the Chapecoense plane crash that killed 19 of his teammates - and on Friday night, he celebrated one of the most powerful moments of 2021 so far.
Four years after the plane crash tragedy, survivor Alan Ruschel lifts the @BrasileiraoB__ trophy for @ChapecoenseReal. Words can't describe this :green_heart: https://t.co/Op6wFBc6dA
- Americo Espallargas (@Espallargas_A) January 30, 2021
Chapecoense, who had to win by more goals than América Mineiro after they beat Avaí 2-1, needed to score a stoppage time winner to lift the league title and in the 96th minute, they were awarded a penalty.
Anselmo Ramon stepped up and won the second division title with a panenka finish, no less.
It was a real moment.
Chapecoense need to score in the last minute to win Serie B.
They get a penalty... :sunglasses::sunglasses::sunglasses:pic.twitter.com/pWFkXTo42G
- Goal (@goal) January 30, 2021
After the final whistle, Ruschel opened up about Chapecoense's financial problems and spoke about writing his name in the club's history.
"First of all to thank God for this opportunity. First to have given us health and discernment to go through everything that happened here. It is no secret to anyone about the salary difficulties we went through." he said.
"I said I was proud to be part of this group. I don't know if I will stay, my contract ends tomorrow (the 30th). But I will take this group wherever I go.
"I am very happy to have written my name again in the history of the club. Some people from Chapecó need to learn to respect me. They need to learn to respect those who have history in the club and I do."
Alan Ruschel - a survivor of the 2016 Chapecoense plane crash that killed 71 of the 77 people on board - lifts the Série B title as Chapecoense captain.
Chapecoense won the 2nd division title with a last minute winner to be crowned champions over América Mineiro :flag_br::trophy: pic.twitter.com/kXopOtZRUn
- Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) January 30, 2021
Muito bom ver o Alan Ruschel levantando uma taça.#BrasileiraoNoSporTV pic.twitter.com/pSX1woUB5o
- SporTV (@SporTV) January 30, 2021
The left-back then dedicated the win to the club's former president Paulo Magro, who died on December 30 after COVID-19 complications.
"I will dedicate this victory to Paulo Magro, who unfortunately left us. We know how much he suffered with us, how much he tried to organize this club."
A class act.
Featured Image Credit: Twitter
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