Over two weeks after the Turkey earthquake, football player Christian Atsu was discovered dead inside the wreckage of his home, his agent reported.
The 31-year-old Ghanaian international played for Everton, Chelsea, and Newcastle in the Premier League.
After the earthquake on February 6 that led to the collapse of his flat in Antakya, Hatay, Atsu had been missing.
His Turkish Premier League team Hatayspor stated, “There are no words to express our condolences.
“Atsu, we won’t forget you. May peace be with you, lovely person.
Following the earthquake, Hatayspor first stated that Atsu had been rescued “with injuries,” but a day later that statement was corrected.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to report to all well wishers that regrettably Christian Atsu’s body was retrieved this morning,” wrote his agent Nana Sechere, who has been in Hatay, in a tweet on Saturday.
“My sincere sympathies are extended to his family and close friends. I would want to use this chance to express my gratitude for everyone’s prayers and support.
Atsu’s body was found on Saturday morning, according to the Ghana Football Association, after “nearly two weeks of emotional anguish.”
There are estimates that over 40,000 people were killed by the earthquake and its aftershocks across southern Turkey and northern Syria.
Christian Atsu is remembered by Sportshour as “a talented footballer and a special person.”
After spending a season with the Saudi Arabian team Al-Raed, Atsu joined Hatayspor in September 2022. On February 5, he scored the game-winning goal in a Super Lig match.
He played for Ghana on 65 occasions and led his team to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, where they were defeated by Ivory Coast on penalties. Later, Atsu was selected the contest’s player of the year.
The Black Stars men’s soccer team of Ghana paid tribute to the winger in a tweet, writing: “You served our Country well, eternally in our hearts. Lie down in peace.
He moved from Porto to Chelsea in 2013 and spent time on loan at a number of organizations, including Everton and Bournemouth.
His 2016 loan stint at Newcastle, during which he assisted the squad in advancing from the Championship to the Premier League, was turned into a permanent arrangement in 2017.
Newcastle stated that they were “profoundly grieved” to learn that Christian Atsu had tragically perished in Turkey’s horrific earthquakes.
“Our players, staff, and supporters will always remember him as a terrific player and a special person.”
Everton expressed their “great sadness” over the news, while Chelsea expressed their “devastation.”
Before their Premier League match against Leeds on Saturday, the Toffees announced that there will be a period of applause and that their players will wear black armbands in tribute.
He was always grounded and had a kind word for everyone, according to Ghanaian sports reporter Michael Oti Adjei on the BBC World Service Sportshour.
He was a great guy to work with and a great athlete as well. He played 65 times for Ghana, scoring more than 10 goals, and had a very good left foot. He made restitution to the national squad.
“A moniker for Ghana’s Messi was mentioned when he made his debut. Those who were familiar with him spoke about a young Ghanaian talent who might go down as one of the greatest African players ever.