Christian Atsu, a former footballer, has been discovered dead at the age of 31, found buried in the rubble in Turkiye.
Atsu, a Ghanaian national, was reported missing in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquakes that occurred on February 6, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of people in Turkey and Syria.
The news was confirmed by his agent Nana Sechere. He posted on Twitter on Saturday morning: “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. I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”
The deceased footballer, who had been under contract with Turkish Super Lig team Hatayspor, was stationed in the region of Kahramanmaras, one of the regions hit hardest by the earthquake. The first quake, a magnitude of 7.8, was quickly followed by a magnitude of 7.5.
Newcastle United have also released the following statement on their former player: “We are profoundly saddened to learn that our former player Christian Atsu tragically lost his life in Turkey’s devastating earthquakes. A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. A proud Ghanaian who played for his country on 65 occasions, Christian represented our club between 2016 and 2021, making 121 appearances.
Initially joining on loan, he played a key role in the Magpies squad that secured the Championship title in 2017 before making a permanent move to help us establish our place back in the Premier League. After leaving St. James’ Park in 2021, he joined Saudi Pro League side Al Raed FC before moving to Turkey with Hatayspor in the summer of 2022.