Former Chape coach Caio Junior was among those lost in the tragedy after steering his side to the Sudamericana final, and his friend aims to carry on his work

Chapecoense have appointed Vagner Mancini as their new head coach as they look to rebuild the club following last week’s tragic plane crash.

Chapecoense players, backroom staff and officials were among the victims when a flight carrying them to the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional crashed in Colombia.

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Head coach Caio Junior was among the 71 people who died and the Chapeco side have turned to Mancini to take his place.

The 50-year-old, who has previously been in charge at clubs such as Gremio, Santos, Vasco da Gama, Cruzeiro and Botafogo, will start work on December 19.

“I would like to express my satisfaction at being chosen as the new coach,” Mancini said at a news conference.

“We have all followed the rise of Chapecoense last year and I feel honoured to continue the work of my friend Caio Junior.”

Vagner Mancini assume a equipe com a responsabilidade de manter o trabalho que vinha sendo realizado. Seja bem-vindo, Vagner!#VamosChape pic.twitter.com/lUOcpp8FhP

— Chapecoense (@ChapecoenseReal) December 9, 2016

Nivaldo, the goalkeeper who retired in the aftermath of the plane crash, will join Mancini’s backroom staff.

Meanwhile, interim Chapecoense president Ivan Tozzo has made it clear they have accepted Barcelona’s invitation to participate in next year’s Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou.

“It is a great joy for us and we are grateful to Barcelona for inviting us,” Tozzo said.

“It will be a privilege and a great pleasure to go and play in Europe.”