Fire at Flamengo football training centre kills 10 people

Ten dead in fire at football club ground in Brazil

Fire swept through an unlicensed lodging at the training center of Rio de Janeiro soccer club Flamengo on Friday, killing 10 people, including several members of the club's youth team, firefighters and news reports said. "He lost his phone, and all of his things, but the important thing is he is alive".

Flamengo posted that the club "is in mourning".

The blaze broke out at 5:00 am in the Vargem Grande district of Rio in a modern facility where the top-flight professional Flamengo squad also trains, the news website G1 said.

Although O Globo newspaper identified at least six of the dead as youth players, the only one named by a club official was Christian Esmerio, a 15-year-old goalkeeper.

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The main team had been due to practice at the same facility later in the morning, for their last training session ahead of Saturday's derby against fierce local rivals Fluminense.

Tributes from fans are laid over a Flamengo flag outside the club's training complex that was gutted by fire. "Today I woke up and heard this awful news".

Flameng'so president Rodrigo Landim bottom left, comforts relatives of the victims inside the facility.

The dream of many youths in Latin America's largest nation, victor of five World Cup titles, is to make it into the ranks of professional soccer.

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However, numerous lodgings have a reputation for poor health and hygiene standards. "They see people like Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar making hundreds of millions of dollars".

One of Flamengo's most high-profile fans, the country's vice-president, also expressed his condolences. Supporters are so attached to their academy team that players have a motto for them: "Flamengo makes legends at home".

Flamengo is one of the largest and most famous football clubs in Brazil, having graduated numerous top-ranked players including legendary attacking midfielder Zico.

"The kids from the Flamengo youth team were sleeping there at the time", firefighter Douglas Henaut told Globo News.

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It would appear that upon hearing the news, Real Madrid star Vinicius Jr - who joined from the Braziian club, tweeted: "What sad news!" The facility was closed, and no officials had come out to address media.

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