With tears in his eyes, Ecuadorian striker Jefferson Montero tore off his shirt after scoring the opening goal in Monarcas Morelia’s 2-1 win over Tigres UANL on Wednesday. Underneath, he wore a shirt bearing the image of Chucho Benítez, his national teammate, on the front as well as his No. 11 and last name on the back.
It was an emotional tribute to Montero’s friend, who tragically died on Monday at age 27.
Before the game, Montero tweeted: “I hope to dedicate a goal to you, my friend. … You will always be present with us.”
Hoy Tigres vs Morelia-20:45 México y Ecuador Espero dedicarte un gol amigo Y lo puedas gritar Xq siempre vas estar presente con nosotros
— Jefferson Montero (@JeffMONTERO23) July 31, 2013
After the match, he followed up with a photo of himself in the act of his tribute, along with: “It’s like when you have this sensation of waking up from a nightmare, but it’s the reality we live, and we have to get used to it.”
Es como cuand tienes esa sensación de despertar de una pesadilla pero es la realidd lo q se vive y hay q asimilarlo pic.twitter.com/HA2sQXmkjx
— Jefferson Montero (@JeffMONTERO23) August 1, 2013
All in all, it was a heartfelt tribute to a departed friend — and a reminder that some things go beyond the field.