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Ghanaian football player Christian Atsu has been found dead in Turkey earthquake rubble after initial reports that he had been rescued.
The body of former Ghana international Christian Atsu has been found after a huge earthquake in Turkey, local media reported on Saturday, quoting his manager.
Recall that Atsu, 31, was caught up in a 7.8-magnitude quake that rocked Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing more than 43,000 people in both countries.
There were initial reports he had been rescued a day after the quake, but these turned out to be false.
His manager in Turkey, Murat Uzunmehmet, told DHA news agency on Saturday that his body had been found under the rubble in the Turkish southern province of Hatay.
“We have reached his lifeless body. His belongings are still being removed. His phone was also found,” Uzunmehmet told DHA.
His former club Newcastle United confirmed his death early Saturday.
“We are profoundly saddened to learn that our former player Christian Atsu tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,” the club wrote.
“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff, and supporters. A proud Ghanaian who played for his country on 65 occasions, Christian represented our club between 2016 and 2021, making 121 appearances.”
Midfielder Atsu spent four seasons at Chelsea before a permanent transfer to Newcastle in 2017. He signed in September for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor.
Search and rescue workers found Atsu’s body where he was staying at Ronesans Residence, a block of high-rise luxury flats that toppled over in Antakya city in Hatay.
Turkish police arrested the building’s contractor at Istanbul airport last week as he appeared to be heading to Montenegro, according to state news agency Anadolu.
Since tbe sad news, there have been series of tributes from different clubs associated with him.
Hatayspor FC where he played for wrote:
“The body of our football player Christian Atsu, who lost his life under the rubble (debris), is on his way to be sent to his hometown, Ghana. We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness.
“REST in PEACE ATSU”
Everton Fc wrote:
“We are deeply saddened by today’s news that Christian Atsu has been found dead following the earthquake in Turkey earlier this month.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, colleagues at @Hatayspor_FK and everyone affected by this tragic event that has claimed so many lives.”
Chelsea FC made a lengthy post:
“It is with enormous sadness that Chelsea Football Club receives the news that Christian Atsu is confirmed as one of the many victims of the dreadful earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
“Atsu was a Chelsea player between 2013 and 2017 having signed from Porto. He did not make a competitive appearance for our men’s first team having spent his seasons as a Blue out on loan, although he featured in some pre-season games.
“During those years, the Ghanaian international was named the Player of the Tournament at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, also scoring the Goal of the Tournament as Ghana finished runners-up.
“His loans took him to Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle before he was transferred permanently to St James’ Park.
“He moved to Turkey to play for Hatayspor last year.
“Chelsea sends our heartfelt condolences to Christian’s family and friends and to all those affected by the earthquake tragedy.”Follow us on social media