Body of Ghanian soccer star Christian Atsu found under rubble in Turkey

The body of Ghanian soccer star Christian Atsu (R) was discovered in Turkey on Saturday under the rubble of the building he lived in. File Photo by Chris Brunskill/UPI

Feb. 18 (UPI) — The body of professional soccer player Christian Atsu was discovered under the rubble of the earthquake-damaged building where lived in Turkey, his agent confirmed Saturday.

The Ghanian soccer star had been playing Turkish Super Lig team Hatayspor. He had been missing since Turkey and Syria were struck by a pair of devastating earthquakes on Feb. 6.

Previously, Atsu was falsely reported as hospitalized.

“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,” Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere tweeted. “My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones.”

Atsu also played for Newcastle United from 2016 to 2021 and helped the club gain promotion to the English Premier League.

“We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,” Newcastle club officials tweeted. “A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.”

According to Sky Sports, Atsu was scheduled to leave Turkey just hours before the earthquake, having agreed to join a new club in France.

“He bought a ticket to fly to Istanbul, and from there to France. He was going to look for a club to get more playing time,” Hatayspor manager Fatih Ilek said.

Atsu played for Ghana during the 2014 World Cup and was named player of the tournament at the 2015 African Cup of Nations, in which Ghana were finalists.


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