Christian Atsu’s Turkish agent Murat Uzun Mehmet has confirmed “Christian Atsu has been found dead”.
The 31-year-old has passed away following the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey’s south-eastern border 11 days ago and has claimed the lives of over 35,000 people.
Atsu is currently contracted to Turkish side Hatayspor and scored a spectacular 97th-minute free kick in their 1-0 win over Kasimpasa in the Turkish Christian AtsuSuper Lig on 5 February.
In recent heartbreaking developments, it has now been revealed that he was set to leave the country but changed his mind after netting in that victory.
Several search and rescue operations in the debris of the building where Atsu and Hatayspor’s sporting director Taner Savut lived, took place – with Savut also missing.
Sechere explained on Tuesday how Atsu’s exact ‘room location’ and even two pairs of his shoes had been located.
It was then confirmed by Sechere that he had been found under the rubble on Saturday, 12 days after the earthquake.
31-year-old Atsu enjoyed an extremely impressive football career after he broke through with Portuguese giants Porto.
His exploits in Portugal – which also included a loan spell at Rio Ave – led to Atsu earning a move to Chelsea.
He spent five years at Stamford Bridge but never actually made an appearance for the first team as he spent temporary spells away from the club with Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle, before he made a permanent move to the Magpies in 2016.
He was promoted to the Premier League with the club during the 2016-17 season under Rafa Benitez and he made 121 appearances in total over five years.
Upon leaving Newcastle, he moved to Saudi Arabia to play for Al-Raed, before he joined Hatayspor last September.
Atsu also had a decorated international career, winning 65 caps for Ghana and scoring nine goals, while he also represented them at the 2014 World Cup.
He was awarded Player of the Tournament at the 2015 AFCON when the Black Stars came runners-up.
After growing up in Ghana, Atsu had moved to Portugal to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer at the age of just 17.
Atsu was a devout Christian and married his wife Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu in 2012. The couple had three children together – two sons and a daughter.