Ghana and indeed the world of football received the news they did want to hear Saturday morning. Christian Astu did not survive the Turkey earthquake!
His remains was dug up from under the rubble in which he had been trapped with others since the February 6 natural disaster hit. Over 40, 000 people have been confirmed dead.
Atsu’s club Hatayaspor confirmed the sad news.
“There are no words to describe our sadness.
“We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person.”
In the aftermath of the quake, Hatayspor initially reported Atsu had been rescued “with injuries”, but a day later that position changed.
His agent Nana Sechere, who has been in Hatay, confirmed the news on Saturday on Twitter, writing: “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.
Atsu joined Hatayspor in September 2022 after a season with Saudi Arabian team Al-Raed and scored the winning goal in a Super Lig match on February 5.
He won 65 caps for Ghana and helped his country reach the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final where they lost to Ivory Coast on penalties. Atsu was later named player of the tournament.
He joined Chelsea from Porto in 2013 and had several loan spells at clubs including Everton and Bournemouth.
An initial loan period at Newcastle in 2016, in which he helped the team win promotion from the Championship to the Premier League, was made permanent in 2017.
“We are profoundly saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes,” Newcastle said.
“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters.”
Everton said they were “deeply saddened” by the news, while Chelsea said they were “devastated”.
Ghana sports broadcaster Michael Oti Adjei told BBC World Service Sportshour: “He was always grounded and he had a nice word for everybody.
“He was a lovely person to deal with and was one heck of a player too. He had a very good left foot and played 65 times for Ghana, scoring more than 10 goals. He paid his dues to the national team.
“When he made his debut, there was talk of a nickname of Ghana’s Messi. Those who knew him were talking of a young Ghanaian player who could potentially become one of the best African players ever.” With BBC reports

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