Christian Atsu, a Ghanaian soccer star who played in the English Premier League of Everton and Newcastle United, was found dead after last week’s earthquake that devastated Turkey and Syria, according to his manager.
«Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. At the moment, his belongings are still being removed,» manager Murat Uzunmehmet told the private DHA news agency, according to The Associated Press.
The 31-year-old played for Hatayspor, a Turkey national football teamjoining the club in September.
GHANA SOCCER STAR KEEPS DISAPPEARING DESPITE REPORTS HE WAS FOUND ALIVE IN THE RUBBLE AMID EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATION
«We are deeply saddened by the news that Christian Atsu lost his life in the devastation from earthquakes that have affected Turkey and Syria,» the Premier League posted on Twitter.
«Our thoughts and condolences are with Christian’s family and friends and all those affected by this tragic event.»
More than 43,000 people have died from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria, with the The death toll is expected to rise.
Atsu was reported to have been found alive one day after the earthquake, but those reports were later found to be wrong.
Atsu’s agent confirmed on Saturday that his body had been found.
«It is with the greatest regret that I have to announce to all supporters that Christian Atsu’s body was unfortunately recovered this morning,» Nana Sechere posted on Twitter.
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Atsu started in Portugal and helped Porto win the Primeira Liga during the 2012-13 season. He had signed with Chelsea on a five-year deal, but had been loaned out to various other clubs and never featured for the Blues.
«Chelsea sends our deepest condolences to Christian’s family and friends and to all those affected by the earthquake tragedy,» the club said in a statement.
He had 65 national team appearances and nine goals.
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«We are deeply saddened to learn that Christian Atsu has tragically lost his life in The devastating earthquakes in Turkey«Newcastle United posted on Twitter. «A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters. Rest in peace, Christian.
Hatayspor said Atsu’s body will be sent back to Ghana.
«We will not forget you, Atsu,» the club posted on Twitter. «Peace be with you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness.»
Ryan Gaydos of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.