Footballer Christian Atsu has sadly passed away at the age of 31. The terribly sad news was confirmed on Saturday morning, following confirmation from two of the Ghanian’s representatives.
Atsu had been playing for Hatayspor at the time of his death, and was caught up in the earthquake that hit Turkey almost two weeks ago. He had been missing ever since, and his agent Nana Sechere confirmed his passing on Twitter.
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
— Nana Sechere (@iAmNana7) February 18, 2023
Atsu started his career at Porto, before moving to Chelsea in 2013. Several loan spells followed, one of which was to then-La Liga side Malaga. Atsu joined in January 2016, and twice in 12 league appearances as he helped Los Albicelestes finish eighth that season.
🖤 Lamentamos profundamente el fallecimiento de Christian Atsu, jugador del #MálagaCF durante la temporada 15/16.
Un abrazo muy fuerte para la familia, amigos y compañeros de su club, el @Hatayspor_FK.
Descansa en paz, Christian. pic.twitter.com/VPDaiXFrZh
— Málaga CF (@MalagaCF) February 18, 2023
Atsu became a popular figure at Newcastle United, whom he joined from Chelsea back in 2017. The Premier League side were among several to pay their respects to their former player.
Oh he is so wonderful. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/E5vA8eeNuB
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 18, 2023
Hatayspor issues a touching tribute to Atsu, and confirmed that his body would be sent back to his native Ghana in order to funeral preparations to take place.
“The funeral of our football player Christian Atsu, who lost his life under the collapse, is on his way to be sent to his hometown Ghana. We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. Rest in peace.”
Atsu scored on his final appearance as a footballer, a 97th minute winner against Kasimpasa, one day prior to the earthquake hitting Turkey.