Juan Jesus: ‘A game for joy’

Roma’s Juan Jesus says the friendly with Chapecoense will be “a huge joy”, as well as “melancholy for those who aren’t there”.

The Giallorossi take on the Brazilian side tonight in a fund raising match, after almost the entire Chape squad was killed in a plane crash last year.

“It will be a friendly to remember those who are missing,” Juan Jesus told the Lupi’s official website.

“It will be to give joy to fans around the world and show how important those around us are.

“When I heard about the plane crash, I was sad at first because I couldn’t quite believe it, then I was moved when I heard about the dead.

“I knew [defensive midfielder] Josimar, we played together at Internacional and we had a WhatsApp group with other players we played with. It was a tragedy.

“In football we’re blessed with money and fame, but we have to remember that life is all we have with our loved ones.

“They won the regional championship strongly, everyone wanted to prove they could bring Chapecoense back to where they were. They kept doing what they were doing.

“The important thing is to play the game with great joy, to demonstrate how much you can do on this earth.

“Come, because it will be a huge joy, football aside. Obviously there will also be melancholy for those who are missing. It will be a great match.”

The match takes place at 19.45 UK time at the Stadio Olimpico, with tickets priced from €10 to €25. All proceeds will be donated to Chapecoense.