Former Birmingham city striker Christian Chucho Bentez has died at the age of 27 after suffering a acardiac arrest. His agent, Jose Chamorro, told Ecuador's public TV station Gama that his client had been admitted to hospital with stomach pains before suffering cardiac arrest
Benitez had just completed a $15 million (£9.77m) move to Qatari side El Jaish from Club America.
He previously represented Birmigham city in the Premier League in the 2009-10 season, scoring three times in 30 appearances. He had earned 58 caps for his national team, scoring 24 goals, and had been linked with a return to England before moving to Qatar earlier this month.
Birmingham City released a statement expressing their sadness at his passing, adding they would mark his death ahead of the Championship opener against Watford on Saturday.
"The thoughts of all associated with the club are with Chucho's family and friends at this very sad time.
"The Ecuador international was an immensely popular character during his time at the club."
Fellow Ecuador international colleague Antonio Valencia paid tribute on Twitter.
“Brother why now. God is with you and your family,” the Manchester United winger Tweeted in Spanish, before posting pictures of his friend.
His former Birmingham City team-mate Craig Gardner, now of Sunderland, also paid tribute.
"Can't believe Christian Benitez aka chucho has died," he Tweeted. "Had the pleasure to play with him he was a top bloke. My thoughts go out to his family."