Former Birmingham striker Christian 'Chucho' Benitez dies at age 27 in Qatar
Ecuador international, Christian Benitez, has died following a cardiac arrest, aged 27, reports BBC.
He was the victim of a car crash in Qatar.
The former Birmingham City striker had recently joined Qatari side El Jaish following an extremely successful stint at America in Mexico.
The striker began his career at Ecuadorian side El Nacional alongside Manchester United star, Antonio Valencia where he scored 29 goals in 83 league matches and won both the 2005 Clausura and 2006 League Championships.
Following his fine form at El Nacional Chucho, as he was nicknamed, joined Santos Laguna of the Mexican Primera Division.
It was here he truly excelled, following his first season at the club he was named the best Ecuadorian footballer playing outside of Ecuador. His first spell in Mexico finished with 51 goals in 95 appearances.
It wasn’t long until European clubs began to notice his potential, after flirting with the likes of Villarreal, English Premier League side, Birmingham City, came in with a loan offer.
Benitez struggled in England having only scored 3 goals in 30 appearances; he went back to Santos Laguna where he finished his first season as top goal scorer with 16 league goals.
For the 2011/12 season, Benitez transferred to America for a Mexican record transfer fee of $10 million. He did not disappoint here with 52 goals in 79 appearances for the Liga MX 2013 Clausura champions.
On the 6th July 2013, Benitez left the club to join Qatari side El Jaish for an undisclosed fee.
On the 29th July El Jaish announced the tragic news that Christian Benitez had passed away.