Two weeks after the tragic passing of Christian Benitez due to cardiorespiratory arrest, the Ecuadorian national team took the field again for a friendly against Spain. To pay tribute to the prolific former Club America striker, both teams halted play in the 11th minute as fans cheered the memory of their former Number 11.
In addition, Ecuador’s players took the field with black ribbons sewed onto their jerseys, with some wearing shirts depicting an image of Benitez. One player, as you can see in the video, even had “Chucho,” Benitez’s nickname, shaved in his head. A giant Benitez jersey was also unfurled in the stands, inscribed with hundreds, if not thousands of messages and signatures.
It’s one of those moments that truly transcend the sport, and you could see both the anguish and pride of the Ecuadorians as they took a minute to honor one of their own:
Rest in peace, Christian.