Brazil football was left in shock on Monday when authorities announced the death of 24-year-old midfielder Daniel Correa under mysterious circumstances, after the police had retrieved his body from the outskirts of the state capital Curitiba on Saturday.
As per reports in AFP, Correra's body was almost decapitated with his genitals cut off. As per another report in the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, Correa's throat had been slit with a blade so wide that his head was almost entirely cut off and his genitals had also been severed.
Police in the southern Parana state said Correa's body had been found in a rural zone on the outskirts of the state capital Curitiba on Saturday. Authorities said an investigation into his death was "advanced" and that members of his family would be interviewed.
As a mark of respect, his parent club, Sao Paulo FC, whom he joined in 2015, paid a heartfelt tribute to Correa with its players holding a minute's silence before training on Monday. Sao Paulo said in a statement that he was "found dead this weekend." Several other Brazilian clubs and players also paid their respects through social media messages.
Brazil is one of the most violent countries in the world where last year a record 63,880 people were murdered, some 30.8 per 100,000. The United Nations considers a murder rate greater than 10 per 100,000 citizens as the threshold for endemic violence.
Once a prospect at Brazilian giants Cruzeiro, the powerhouse club from his home state of Minas Gerais, Correa made his professional debut at Rio de Janeiro outfit Botafogo in 2013, alongside Dutch great Clarence Seedorf.
Correa had been on loan at second division Sao Bento when he died. Like most Brazilian players the midfielder posed a flair for dribbling, with many fans dubbed him "Daniel Messi." But a serious knee injury in 2014 curtailed his progress and Correa was never able to fulfill his early promise.