Sunday, May 13, 2012

13 May 1976 - The Death Of Roberto Batata

On 13 May 1976, Cruzeiro forward Roberto Monteiro died in a car accident. He was 26 years old.

The Belo Horizonte-born Monteiro, nicknamed Roberto Batata after his love of french fries (called batata frita in Portuguese), joined Cruzeiro in 1969 at the age of 20. While there, he helped the club take five regional  titles, winning the Campeonato Mineiro in 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975. He made a total of 281 appearances for Os Celestes, scoring a total of 110 goals in all competitions.

His played his last match on 12 May 1976, scoring a goal in Cruzeiro's 4-0 win over Alianza Lima in the Copa Libertadores semifinals. Afterward, he was traveling by car to visit his wife Denize and their eleven-month old son, Leonardo, but was involved in an accident and died as a result of his injuries.

Cruzeiro proceeded to win the Copa Libertadores the next month and dedicated their victory to his memory.

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