Manchester United and Torino led the messages of support for tragedy-hit Chapecoense after the air disaster that has wiped out almost all the Brazilian club’s playing squad and coaching staff.
Over 70 of the 81 passengers and crew on board Chapecoense’s charter flight to Medellin, Colombia, died in a late-night crash, with 22 journalists also among the travelling party.
Chapacoense were on their way to play in the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional, which had been due to take place on Wednesday evening.
The club have only been a part of Brazil’s top flight for the past three seasons, and were aiming for the greatest achievement in their 43-year history.
Both Manchester United and Torino have rebuilt after deadly air disasters, which shocked the football world in 1958 and 1949 respectively.
United, the 20-times English champions, said in a statement on Twitter: “The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with @ChapecoenseReal & all those affected by the tragedy in Colombia.”
Red Devils captain Wayne Rooney added: “Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends.”
Torino stated: “Emotion for the tragedy at @ChapecoenseReal. It’s a destiny that binds us inextricably #ForcaChapecoense, we are with you fraternally.”
Gianni Infantino, the president of football’s world governing body FIFA: said “This is a very, very sad day for football.
“We are so sorry to hear about the airplane crash in Colombia, it is shocking and tragic news. At this difficult time our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends.
“FIFA would like to extend its most heartfelt condolences to the fans of Chapecoense, the football community and media organisations concerned in Brazil.”
Tributes and condolences came from far and wide, with Atletico Madrid having a close tie to one of the feared victims.
The Spanish side said: “We are shocked by the plane crash which carried the @ChapecoenseReal team and our former player Cleber Santana. Our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased ... May they rest in peace.”
Santana was an Atletico player from 2007 to 2010, spending the 2008-09 season on loan at Real Mallorca.
Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale said: “Absolutely horrendous to hear about the crash carrying @ChapecoenseReal My thoughts are with all the families of the passengers and crew!”
Former Brazil captain Cafu added: “My thoughts and prayers go to all the Chapecoense family.”
Another former star, Robinho, said: “Feeling very sad for the friends of Chapecoense and the press! A lot of prayer right now! #mourning”
There were messages of support from Argentina, where the national federation announced: “The AFA expresses its regret over the tragedy suffered by @ChapecoenseReal”
Manchester City’s Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero added: “Moved and sad by the tragedy of @ChapecoenseReal. My condolences and support go to the club, families and friends #FuerzaChape”