it has been confirmed that Ghanian footballer Christian Atsu has died after his body was recovered from the rubble from the devastating earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this month.
The ex-Chelsea and Newcastle United winger was now playing for Hatayspor in Antakya, a city in the south of Turkey. The 31-year-old, who had also played for Everton and Bournemouth during his time in England was on a one-year contract with the Super Lig side.
Atsu had been missing since the earthquake struck on February 6th after his body was misidentified and falsely reported to be recovering in hospital.
His agent Nana Sechere confirmed the tragic news of Atsu’s passing in a statement on Saturday morning. Sechere wrote: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support. I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
Atsu is now one of 45,000 people who have died as a result of the earthquake. His decorated career saw him play all over Europe including stints in Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands as well as England He briefly played for Al-Raed in Saudi Arabia before joining Hatayspor in September 2022.
In a fitting tribute to the player his final moment as a footballer, scoring a 97th minute winning free kick in Hatayspor’s 1-0 victory over Kasimpasa on 5th February has been widely shared on social media with many fans showing their respects.