Tributes Paid To Murdered Footballer

A 24-year-old footballer has been stabbed to death in southern Spain.

The victim has been named as Francisco J. Naval Perez, nicknamed ‘Paco’, a married man with a young daughter.

He died in hospital on Sunday, 2nd April after being stabbed in the chest in Cadiz on Saturday afternoon at around 2pm.

A 20-year-old suspect, who has not been named and who has no criminal record, is in police custody, according to local media.

He allegedly stabbed Paco, who played for Chipiona C. F. in Spain’s Segunda Andaluza Senior, in the chest with a large knife for no apparent reason, according to the Spanish Civil Guard.

Chipiona CF player Paco Naval, 24, poses in undated photo. He died after he was stabbed to death by a 20-year-old with whom he apparently had no relationship, in Cadiz, Spain, on Saturday, April 2, 2023. (@chipiona_c_f/Newsflash)

The authorities also said that there are no known links between the two men and that the attack appears to have been random, with the attacker allegedly stabbing Paco without saying a word.

The Chipiona C. F. said in a statement on Sunday, 2nd April: “Well, we don’t even have words to begin with, this seems like a nightmare, but unfortunately it’s real, our player Paco Naval Perez has left us, he died this morning […].”

They added that he had been “fighting between life and death” and that he “had his whole life ahead of him”.

A number of Spanish clubs have also offered their condolences, with Real Madrid C. F. saying: “Real Madrid C. F. deeply regrets the death of Paco Naval, a Chipiona C. F. player, and wishes to express its condolences and affection to all his family, his club, teammates and loved ones. RIP.”