Countryman Jefferson Montero dedicates goal to Chucho Benítez (video)

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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.

(MORE: Tributes pour in for Ecuadorian striker Christian Benitez following his tragic death)

Before the game, Montero tweeted: “I hope to dedicate a goal to you, my friend. … You will always be present with us.”

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.”

All in all, it was a heartfelt tribute to a departed friend — and a reminder that some things go beyond the field.