Ghanaian soccer star Christian Atsu has been missing since a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the region earlier this month, killing more than 45,000 people and leaving thousands more still missing.
Atsu, 31, played for both Newcastle and Everton before joining Hatayspor in Turkey’s Hatay province. Earlier reports from Hatayspor suggested that Atsu was brought out alive from the rumble in his apartment. Those reports were wrong.
The New York Post reports:
“Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble,” the former Chelsea winger’s Turkish agent Murat Uzunmehmet confirmed to reporters in Hatay on Saturday.
Atsu was scheduled to fly out of southern Turkey hours before the quake, but his manager said he chose to stay in the area after scoring the game-winning goal in the Feb. 5 Super League match that gave his team victory in the final. minutes
Atsu’s other agent confirmed his death, tweeting, “It is with a very heavy heart that I announce to all well-wishers that Christian Atsu’s body has sadly been recovered this morning. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I ask that while we make the necessary arrangements, everyone please respect the family’s privacy at this difficult time.”
It is with a very heavy heart that I would like to announce to all well-wishers that sadly the body of Christian Atsu has been recovered this morning.
My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support
– Nana Sechere (@iAmNana7) February 18, 2023
Atsu had a profound impact on Ghanaian society. Sky News spoke to Ghanaian sports journalist Ouraku Ampofo about Atsu’s legacy and what he meant to the people of Ghana.
Atsu is revered by football fans around the world.
Football remembers Christian Atsu ❤️ pic.twitter.com/y527tlXCaf
— goal (@goal) February 18, 2023
— NUFC HQ (@NUFC_HQ) February 18, 2023
Chelsea tribute to Christian Atsu pic.twitter.com/dES5lKUAfE
— Michael OT Adjei (@OTAdjei) February 18, 2023