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Atsu’s dead body found as world, CAF mourn Ghanaian star

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The body of former Ghanaian International, Christian Atsu, was found under the rubble of the building, where he lived in Turkey, his agent has said.

According to Atsu’s Turkey-based agent, Murat Uzunmehmet, “Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.”

The 31-year-old, who had earlier been misidentified and falsely reported as hospitalised last week, at the time of his death, played for Turkey’s Hatayspor.

A statement from the representative of Atsu, Nana Sechere, said: “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.”

Atsu was said to have first moved to Portugal at the age of 17 to pursue his football career, and eventually signed for Porto FC.

His lofty career at the international level spanned 65 caps for Ghana, scoring nine times in his appearances for the Black Stars.

He was at the World Cup in 2014, and at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2015, Atsu was adjudged player of the tournament, where Ghana was a finalist.

He moved to Newcastle from Chelsea on a permanent deal for £6.2m in 2017.

Chelsea said they received the news of Atsu’s death with “enormous sadness”.

“Chelsea sends our heartfelt condolences to Christian’s family and friends and to all those affected by the earthquake tragedy,” a statement said.

Former Chelsea captain, John Terry, tweeted: “RIP my friend.”

The Ghanaian became a fan favourite on Tyneside, making 107 appearances between 2016 and 2021 and scoring eight goals.

Newcastle said they were “profoundly saddened” by the death of Atsu, who was part of the team, which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017.

“A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff and supporters,” a statement said.

A minute’s silence was yesterday paid in honour of Atsu in the Newcastle against Liverpool match at St James’ Park.

Meanwhile, in a release by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), it said it was saddened by the tragic passing of Ghana’s international, Christian Atsu, following the earthquake in Turkey, adding that its President, Dr. Patrice Motsepe and African Football Family convey their heartfelt condolences to his family and Ghanaian Football Family.

Atsu is survived by wife, Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu, and their three children.

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