The body of Ghana winger Christian Atsu was discovered under the building in southern Turkey where he had been living after last week’s devastating earthquake. He was 31. His Turkish agent, Murat Uzunmehmet, stated that Atsu’s phone was also found. Atsu had been set to leave the area hours before the quake, but Hatayspor’s manager reported that he stayed with the club after scoring the winning goal in a February 5th Super Lig match.
Atsu had spells with Everton, Chelsea, and Newcastle United and joined Hatayspor in September 2020. Hatayspor tweeted a tribute, saying “We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness.” Newcastle also paid their respects, saying “A talented player and a special person, he will always be fondly remembered by our players, staff, and supporters.”
Atsu won 65 caps for Ghana and helped them reach the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, where they lost to Ivory Coast on penalties. He was last selected to play for Ghana in 2019. Chelsea also expressed their condolences, stating “Chelsea sends our heartfelt condolences to Christian’s family and friends and to all those affected by the earthquake tragedy.”
The earthquake has so far claimed the lives of more than 45,000 people in Turkey and Syria, and the death toll is expected to rise with more than 264,000 apartments in Turkey destroyed and many still missing.