Body of football star Benitez arrives back in his native Ecuador
August 2, 2013 -- Updated 1307 GMT (2107 HKT)
The coffin of Ecuador international Christian Benitez arrives at Mariscal Sucre airport in Quito.
- Body of Christian Benitez arrives in Quito ahead of funeral
- Ecuador international Benitez died after playing a match in Qatar on July 29
- His Qatari club said he had suffered heart failure
- Funeral scheduled for Friday in Quito
(CNN) -- The body of football star Christian Benitez arrived in his native Ecuador Friday ahead of his funeral and other tributes in the capital Quito later in the day.
The coffin was accompanied on the flight from Doha in Qatar by his wife Liseth Chala and other grieving relatives.
The 27-year-old Ecuadorian international striker died Monday after playing his first match for Qatari league side El Jaish, coming on as a second half substitute.
Read: 'Heart failure' caused death of Ecuador football ace
Football player Christian Benitez dies
The club said Wednesday that Benitez had died of heart failure after developing peritonitis.
Benitez's agent said he had complained of abdominal pains before being taken to hospital.
The striker scored 24 goals in 54 games for Ecuador, playing in the 2006 World Cup as a youngster.
He had scored four goals in Ecuador's qualifying campaign for the 2014 finals in Brazil.
Read: Death of Benitez leaves family, friends reeling
His club career saw Benitez ply his trade in Mexico, in the English Premier League with Birmingham, before heading to Qatar.
El Jaish played their first match since his death Thursday, with a minute's silence observed before taking on Al Shahaniya in a pre-season tournament.
His teammates held up a banner with is picture and the words "Christian Benitez We Will Miss You" before playing out a 4-4 draw.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.