Tragic news has surfaced in world football on Saturday that Shakhtar Donetsk striker Maicon Pereira de Oliveira has passed away in a car accident in Ukraine.
The club released a statement to confirm the sad news concerning the 25-year-old Brazilian international widely known as Maicon through their official website:
FC Shakhtar regretfully informs that on 8 February, 2014 the life of a footballer Maicon Pereira de Oliveira tragically ended. He died in a car crash in Donetsk.
He was a talented footballer, an open and friendly guy. Maicon loved life and knew how to make it positive and bright. [His] tragic, untimely and absurd death took away a wonderful person from our ranks. Maicon was only 25 years old.
It is a terrible bereavement for each of us. FC Shakhtar expresses condolences and sympathy to Maicon's family and friends. May he rest in peace.
Maicon had played for the Miners since 2012. Shakhtar are the defending Ukrainian Premier League champions, sitting atop the current table for the 2013-14 campaign with 41 points.
This unfathomable development involving Maicon will undoubtedly be felt at the friendly grounds of Donbass Arena.
The standout scorer burst on to the scene in 2009, when Maicon joined Ukraine's Volyn Lutsk club in the First League. His 13 goals in 18 appearances helped drive that club into the top league. Overall, he scored 37 goals in 65 matches with Lutsk, per ESPN.co.uk.
It is certainly a tragedy to see such a young and promising player who was still improving and clearly made an impact on those around him at Shakhtar go so early. FIFA.com points out how Maicon was on loan to Illichivets Mariupol after not quite finding a proper role with the Miners. Illichivets are ranked ninth in the current standings.
So even though things weren't quite working out for Maicon at Donbass Arena in terms of getting ideal time on the pitch to foster his continued development as a footballer, he still had a great career ahead of him that was cut short in such a sudden way.
Thoughts go out to Maicon, his family and the club dealing with such an untimely loss.