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Christian Atsu found dead after going missing in Turkey earthquake

After a long search, the player’s agent, Murat Uzunmehmet, confirmed the death of the former Porto, Chelsea, Málaga and Newcastle star.

After a long search, the player’s agent, Murat Uzunmehmet, confirmed the death of the former Porto, Chelsea, Málaga and Newcastle star.

Eleven days after the earthquake that tore apart Turkey and Syria, devastating news linked to the world of sport was confirmed. Footballer Christian Atsu, formerly of Chelsea, Málaga and Newcastle United, is among tens of thousands of other victims, after his body was found among the rubble left by the earthquake. This sad news was communicated by his agent in Turkey, Murat Uzunmehmet on Friday morning.

“Christian Atsu was found and had unfortunately passed away,” he said through a brief statement on social media.

“Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble,” Uzunmehmet added when speaking with reporters in Hatay, where the player’s body was found. “Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.”

The Ghanian had planned to depart from southern Turkey just hours before the earthquake struck, according to his club manager, but had decided to stay following scoring the winning goal on 5 February.

Christian Atsu: from Portugal, to Premier League and Turkey

The disappearance of Atsu, who had been a member of Turkish club Hatayspor, had shocked the sports world. The 31-year-old Ghanaian has been playing in the country after a long career that had taken him through several of the world’s top leagues. After starring for Porto, he was snapped up by Chelsea and stayed with the London team for four seasons, being sent out on loan to various clubs including Málaga, with whom he came to play in the Spanish top flight. He featured in 12 games and scored 2 goals.

After also playing for another English club, Newcastle United, as well as in Saudi football, he ended up in Turkey to join the ranks of Hatayspor, with whom he scored one goal in three games. In addition to club level, Atsu was heavily involved with the Ghana national team. He played 65 games for his country and scored nine goals, and was part of the team that was in the 2013 and 2015 African Cups, and also the 2014 World Cup.

Atsu: lost, found, and now lost forever

Turkey was on high alert over the news of Atsu’s disappearance. A few days after the disaster some information came out to say that he had been found safe and well, but that was later denied by those responsible at his club.

Friday’s confirmation by the player’s agent is another tragedy for a country that has suffered one of the greatest in its history with an earthquake that has already left more than 40,000 dead across Turkey and Syria.