Ghanaian Soccer Star Christian Atsu Found Dead Under His Building in Turkey Earthquake Rubble

Feb 19, 2023 - 01:25
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Ghanaian Soccer Star Christian Atsu Found Dead Under His Building in Turkey Earthquake Rubble

Ghanian soccer star Christian Atsu has been found dead under the rubble of his apartment building in southern Turkey after last week's earthquake. He was 31.

Atsu's Turkish agent Murat Uzunmehmet confirmed his client's death after the winger had been missing since the earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6.

"Atsu's lifeless body was found under the rubble," Uzunmehmet told reporters in the Hatay province, where an apartment building had collapsed, per ESPN. "Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found."

Professional soccer club Hatayspor is located in the city of Antakya, where the southern region of Turkey was hit the hardest by the earthquake. Atsu joined Hatayspor last September after playing with English Premiere League clubs Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle United.

According to ESPN, Hatayspor's manager said Atsu stayed with his team after scoring the winning goal in a Feb. 5 Super Lig game. He was originally scheduled to fly out of the area hours before the earthquake struck.

The Premiere League's official Twitter account shared a tribute on Saturday in honor of Atsu's passing, saying they were "deeply saddened" by the loss.

Atsu's club additionally tweeted in respect. "We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness," the organization wrote.

Atsu represented Ghana in 65 games, helping his team reach the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final where they lost to Ivory Coast. He was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019.

Newcastle United and Chelsea also paid tribute to their former player.

"A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters," Newcastle United wrote on their website.

"Chelsea sends our heartfelt condolences to Christian's family and friends and to all those affected by the earthquake tragedy," the London club penned.

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