Brazilian football star Jian Kayo found dead in home aged 21

Up-and-coming Brazilian footballer Jian Kayo has been found dead in his home at the age of just 21. The goalkeeper came through Sao Paolo’s youth system and had been promoted to the professional squad at second-tier outfit Ituano for the 2023 campaign.

Kayo was found unresponsive at his home on Saturday evening before he was declared dead, according to The Sun. His death was confirmed by Ituano via an official club statement, which read: “With great sadness and dismay, Ituano FC communicates the death of the athlete Jian Kayo Gomes Soares.

“The body was found lifeless, at his residence, on the night of Saturday the 18th. Goalkeeper Jian Kayo, born in Parana, was 21 years old. He arrived for the under-20 of Ituano in 2021 and was a starter in the Paulista Championship of that year, a starter in the 2022 Sao Paulo Cup and also in Paulistao of the same year.

“Promising and of quality, he was promoted to the professional squad for the 2023 season. We deeply regret this great loss, directing our prayers to him, his family and his friends. Ituano FC is providing all the necessary support and attention to the family, at this time of deep pain.

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“As soon as possible, after approval by the authorities and the family, we will disclose additional information.”

Sao Paulo also reflected on Kayo’s death with a statement of their own, in which they expressed solidarity with the player’s family and friends as well as those connected with Ituano.

“With great sorrow and dismay, Sao Paulo Football Club regrets the death of goalkeeper Jian Kayo, who passed through the base and was at Ituano,” read the statement. “Our condolences and solidarity to the family, friends and Ituano FC, wishing you all find strength in this time of pain.”

Ituano played their first game since Kayo’s death on Sunday, winning 2-0 against Santo Andre in an emotional victory for their players just hours after the loss of their young team-mate. Kayo never made a senior professional appearance for Ituano but was a regular at youth level after joining the club’s ranks two years ago.

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