Christian Atsu is confirmed to have died in a devastating earthquake in Turkey

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Christian Atsu is confirmed to have died in a devastating earthquake in Turkey

Christian Atsu, a former football player for Chelsea, has been confirmed to have passed away as a result of the powerful earthquake that hit parts of Turkey and Syria.

Despite being missing since the earthquake struck on February 6, Atsu’s body has now been discovered by one of his agents, Murat Uzunmehmet, who announced the news to the media on Saturday.

Uzunmehmet added that more items are still being recovered from the rubble, and that Atsu’s phone was also found. Atsu was 31 years old at the time of his death.

In addition to Murat Uzunmehmet, another one of Christian Atsu’s agents named Nana Sechere has also confirmed the news of Atsu’s passing.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Atsu’s club Hatayspor called him ‘a beautiful person’, saying there were ‘no words to describe our sadness’.

“The funeral of our football player Christian Atsu, who lost his life under the collapse, is on his way to be sent to his hometown Ghana,” they said on Twitter – as they blacked out their profile picture.

“We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. Rest in peace.”

There were rumors that the former Chelsea, Newcastle, Bournemouth, and Everton winger had been rescued, but Hatayspor and the player’s agent, Sechere, have debunked these rumors in the past week.

Multiple search and rescue operations were conducted in the rubble of the building where Atsu and Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut lived; Savut is also missing.

On Tuesday, agent Nana Sechere revealed that he had located Christian Atsu’s exact room location and even two pairs of his shoes, adding to the already extensive search efforts to locate the former football player following the earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria. Unfortunately, Atsu’s body has since been discovered under the rubble.

The earthquake, which registered at 7.8 magnitude and lasted for about a minute, has resulted in over 42,000 deaths and thousands of injuries, leaving millions homeless. The tremors were felt in several countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus.

At the time of the earthquake, Atsu had been scheduled to fly out of southern Turkey, but opted to stay with his club Hatayspor after scoring the game-winning goal in a Super Lig match on February 5, as reported by Hatayspor’s manager on Friday.

Atsu had a successful football career, starting with Portuguese club Porto before moving to Chelsea, where he spent five years but did not make an appearance for the first team. He played on loan for Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga, and Newcastle, before making a permanent move to the Magpies in 2016.

Christian Atsu played a significant role in helping Newcastle gain promotion to the Premier League during the 2016-17 season under the management of Rafa Benitez. Over the course of five years, he made a total of 121 appearances for the club.

Following his departure from Newcastle, Atsu joined Al-Raed in Saudi Arabia before moving to Hatayspor in September 2022.

Atsu had a successful international career as well, winning 65 caps for Ghana and scoring nine goals, including representing Ghana at the 2014 World Cup. He was named Player of the Tournament at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations when Ghana came in second place.

Atsu moved to Portugal at the age of 17 to pursue his passion for professional football after growing up in Ghana. He was a devoted Christian and married Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu in 2012, with whom he had three children – two sons and a daughter.

Christian Atsu is confirmed to have died in a devastating earthquake in Turkey

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