Ghanaian football star Christian Atsu went missing after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake earlier this month left more than 45,000 people dead and thousands more still missing.
Atsu, 31, played for both Newcastle and Everton before joining Hatayspor, based in Turkey’s Hatay province. Earlier reports from Hateispor indicated that Atsu was pulled alive from the rumble that was once his apartment. Those reports were false.
The New York Post reported:
“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 due to leave southern Turkey just hours before the earthquake, but his manager said he decided to stay in the area after scoring the match-winning goal in the February 5 Super Lig match that lifted his team to victory in the final. min.
Atsu’s other agent tweeted confirming his death, “Sadly I have to announce to all well-wishers that Christian Atsu’s body 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. While we make the necessary arrangements, I ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.
Sadly it is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce to all well-wishers that Christian Atsu’s body 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 with Ghanaian sports journalist Owuraku Ampofo about Atsu’s legacy and what he meant to the people of Ghana.
Atsu is revered by soccer fans around the world.
Football remembers Christian Atsu ❤️ pic.twitter.com/y527tlXCaf
– goal (@goal) February 18, 2023
#NUFC A fan tribute to Christian Atsu 🥺 pic.twitter.com/bSKeCWlZE6
— NUFC HQ (@NUFC_HQ) February 18, 2023
Chelsea tribute to Christian Atsu pic.twitter.com/dES5lKUAfE
— Michael Oti Adjei (@OTiAdjei) February 18, 2023