OSAKA (Reuters) - Atletico Nacional want to win the Club World Cup as a tribute to tragedy-struck Brazilian soccer club Chapecoense, midfielder Jhon Mosquera said on Monday.
Most of the Chapecoense team perished in a plane crash that killed all but six of the 77 people on board as they approached Medellin airport late last month to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico.
The Copa Libertadores and Colombian champions arrived in Osaka on Saturday still reeling from the shock of the tragedy but must shift their focus to Wednesday’s semi-final against local side Kashima Antlers.
“The team (Chapecoense) is always in our hearts and our minds,” Mosquera was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.
”Every time we play and we win, it is a homage to their team. I think the entire world soccer community has been affected by this tragedy and everyone will remember them forever.
“We are all happy to be here because it’s a dream to be participating in this tournament,” Mosquera added.
”We want to do whatever we can to get to the final.
“We’ve always watched the games and we think it’s an amazing tournament. It gets a lot of attention because the world’s best teams are here and we have a great opportunity here. We have plenty of motivation to win.”
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O'Brien