The body of Ghana international soccer player Christian Atsu was discovered by search teams on Saturday, according to his agent. Atsu had gone missing in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria.
The soccer player’s remains were discovered amid the debris of a luxurious 12-story building where he had been staying in the hard-hit city of Antakya, Hatay province, where he had been playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor.
His relatives had gathered at the spot, waiting beside the debris, only to have their dreams dashed when his corpses were discovered.
“Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. At the moment, his belongings are still being removed,” his agent Murat Uzunmehmet, told private news agency DHA.
The death toll from the 7.8 magnitude quake on 6th February in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria passed 43,000 on Friday and was certain to increase as search teams found more bodies.
Atsu, 31-years-old, who previously played for English Premier League clubs Chelsea, Newcastle United, Everton and Bournemouth, signed for Hatayspor from Saudi Arabian side Al Raed FC last year.
Reports a day after the quake struck had said that Atsu was pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building and taken to a hospital for treatment.
Hatayspor, however, announced days later that Christian Atsu and the club’s sporting director Taner Savut were still missing. 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 5 February.
Christian Atsu 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.