Christian Atsu Found Dead After Turkey Earthquake

Christian Atsu Found Dead After Turkey Earthquake (News Central TV)

Christian Atsu, former Black Stars and ex-Newcastle United footballer has been found dead under the rubble of the building where he lived in Turkey, according to his agent. Atsu, who was playing for Turkish Super Lig club, Hatayspor, has been missing since February 6, when earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria.

Christian Atsu Found Dead After Turkey Earthquake (News Central TV)

Nana Sechere, an Atsu representative, said in a statement: “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. He added, “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, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”

Newcastle United, one of his former clubs has said they are deeply saddened by Atsu’s death, who was a member of the team that won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017.

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Atsu became a fan favourite on Tyneside, appearing in 107 games and scoring eight goals between 2016 and 2021. In 2017, he signed a permanent contract with Newcastle from Chelsea for £6.2 million. 

Christian Atsu has also played for Chelsea, Bournemouth and Everton in the Premier League. Murat Uzunmehmet, his Turkey-based agent, told reporters that the player was discovered beneath the rubble of his home in southern Turkey.

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 “Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found,” he said. His elder brother and twin sister were present when his body was recovered. Atsu will now be flown back to Ghana to be buried.

Christian Atsu had agreed to join a new club in France and was set to leave Turkey just hours before the earthquake. But he decided to stay after scoring a stoppage-time winner in Hatayspor’s Super Lig match against Kasimpasa the day before the earthquake.

“Atsu wanted to play more and asked for permission from his coach to leave if he wasn’t going to get it”, Hatayspor manager Fatih Ilek said yesterday on Turkish radio. He added, “He bought a ticket to fly to Istanbul, and from there to France. He was going to look for a club to get more playing time.”

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Atsu moved to Turkey in September, signing a one-year contract with Antakya. The club posted on Twitter, “We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. Rest in peace.”

At the age of 17, Atsu moved to Portugal to pursue his football career, signing with Porto the following year. Atsu also had a successful international career, appearing in 65 games for Ghana and scoring nine goals. He represented West Africa in the 2014 World Cup and was named player of the tournament at the 2015 African Cup of Nations, in which Ghana was a finalist.

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