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Former Birmingham Striker Christian ‘Chucho’ Benitez Dies, Aged 27

christian benitez Former Birmingham Striker Christian Chucho Benitez Dies, Aged 27

Former Birmingham City and Club America striker Christian Benitez has died, aged 27.

The Ecuadorian, nicknamed ‘Chucho,’ played on loan at Birmingham City during the 2009-10 season when the club was in the Premier League. Benitez made an immediate impression in the league with his strong, physical style and incredible dribbling skills. Unfortunately the one thing he was missing that season was the final touch. He then went back to Santos Laguna before moving on to Qatari club El Jaish.

Earlier this summer, there was speculation in the British media that Benitez could return to the Premier League with Swansea one of a few clubs mentioned as showing an interest in the Ecuador striker who played 58 times for his country.

The club statement from El Jaish read:

“The club would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family of the player.

“Benitez had recently joined the club from Club America for three seasons. The player participated for the first time with the team during yesterday’s match against Qatar Sports Club in the Sheikh Jassem Cup without complaining of any health problems.

“His sudden departure is a big shock for each member of the technical and administrative staff. He was a player that over the short period he was here was regarded for his high moral character.”

Benitez reportedly suffered a heart attack and died in the hospital.


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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