Spain & Ecuador halt play for 11th minute tribute to Christian Benítez | inside World Soccer

Two weeks after the tragic passing of Christian "Chucho" Benítez, the Ecuador striker was remembered with a touching gesture during an international friendly with Spain on Wednesday.

Spain player Andrés Iniesta and Segundo Castillo of Ecuador applaud the late Christian Benítez
Spain player Andrés Iniesta and Segundo Castillo of Ecuador applaud the late Christian Benítez

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

The encounter was an emotionally-charged affair, coming only weeks after Benítez died suddenly at the age of just 27.

Benítez died just a day after playing his first match for Qatari club El Jaish due to an undetectable heart ailment.

He wore the number 11 jersey for his national team and, in tribute, players from both sides stopped to pay their respects in the 11th minute of the match.

The fans and both teams took a moment to cheer the memory of Benítez before the match resumed.

In addition the 11th minute tribute, the Ecuadorian players also wore shirts depicting an image of Benítez before the match and a black ribbon was sewn onto their sleeves.

A giant replica of Benítez shirt was also unfurled in the stands, inscribed with thousands of messages and signatures.


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