Buenos Aires: Argentine football star Lionel Messi has expressed his support for the players from local team Club Atletico Huracan, injured when their bus overturned on way to the airport in Caracas, Venezuela. “(I send my) strength and support to Club Atletico Huracan, their players and coaching staff, especially Pato Toranzo, Diego Mendoza and Pablo Santaella. I wish them all a speedy recovery. I send a big hug to everyone,” Messi wrote on his official Facebook account on Thursday, reports Xinhua.
The accident happened on Wednesday. The bus was headed to Caracas’s international airport where the team were scheduled to take the return flight to Buenos Aires, when its brakes stopped working and the vehicle overturned in a mountainous area.
Patrico Toranzo (33), former player for China’s Shanghai Shenhua, was the worst affected by the accident. Four of the toes on his left foot had to be partially amputated. However, club president Alejandro Nadur said later that the injury was not as serious as previously feared. It is thought that the talented midfielder will still be able to continue playing after he recovers.
The team returned to Buenos Aires on Thursday by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s private plane. Toranzo, along with his injured teammate Mendoza and the physical trainer Santaella, will return to Argentina on Friday as they have not yet been discharged from hospital. Atletico Huracan were in Venezuela to play against Caracas Football Club on Tuesday. The Argentinian side lost the match 2-1. However, a last-minute goal by Mendoza allowed the team to qualify for the group stage of the Copa Libertadores de America, thanks to a 1-0 victory in the first leg.