Norwich City’s Nathan Redmond stunned by death of former colleague Christian Benitez
Former Birmingham City striker Christian Benitez died yesterday after suffering a cardiorespiratory arrest, less than a month after signing for Qatari club Al Jaish.
The Ecuadorian was admitted to hospital with severe stomach pains hours after making his debut against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup and died shortly afterwards. He was 27.
Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond, who played alongside Benitez at Birmingham, was quick to pay tribute to his former colleague.
'Cannot believe the news involving Chucho!!,' he said on his official Twitter account. 'Absolute ledge guy to have been around and great baller too! My thoughts reach out to his family.'
Sunderland midfielder Craig Gardner, who also played with Benitez at Birmingham, said on the social networking site: 'Can't believe Christian Benitez aka chucho has died had the pleasure to play with him he was a top bloke.
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Benitez joined Al Jaish earlier in July from Club America, after previous spells with El Nacional, Santos Laguna and Birmingham.
Benitez was a regular for his country and made the Ecuador squad for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
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'The Ecuador international was an immensely-popular character during his time at the football club. During a season-long loan from Mexican club Santos Laguna in 2009/10, Chucho made 36 appearances scoring four goals.'