Chapocoense Crash Survivor Neto Announces Retirement from Football

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

(L-R) goalkeeper  Jackson Follmann  of Associacao Chapecoense de Futebol, Neto of Associacao Chapecoense de Futebol, Alan Ruschel of Associacao Chapecoense de Futebol the three survivors of airplane crash during the Trofeu Joan Gamper match between FC Barcelona and Chapecoense on August 7, 2017 at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Chapecoense defender Neto, who was one of just three players to survive the team's 2016 plane crash, has announced his retirement from playing football. 

According to Daniel Davis for MailOnline, the 34-year-old still suffers with consistent pain after the crash which claimed 71 lives.

Neto was the last person to be pulled from the wreckage and is expected to assume a new role with Chapocoense.

Neto spent two years recovering from injuries suffered in the crash before resuming his playing career but has decided to retire because he was still in pain.

The Brazilian explained his decision to Globo Esporte (h/t Davis): 

"My body couldn't take it anymore. The pains were greater than the pleasure.

"I talked to the doctors and soon there will be an official statement from the club. Apparently there was no pain in my daily life, but in high-level training the body could not stand the knee and back pain, which saddened me most in the end and took me off the field."

Neto had trained with his team-mates after completing a long recovery, but the pain issues have been too much to carry on his career.

Per the Associated Press, only one of the other two players who survived, Alan Ruschel, is still actively playing on loan for Goias. The other surviving player, Jackson Follmann, had part of his right leg amputated as a result of his injuries but hopes to join Brazil's Paralympic team.

The club's flight crashed near Medellin, Colombia, en route to play the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional. After the crash, the final was canceled and Chapecoense was awarded the title.