Christian Atsu, Ghanaian professional footballer who played for Turkish Süper Lig club Hatayspor and the Ghana national team has been found dead in Turkey days after been trapped under the rubble following the devastating earthquake in Turkey that has left thousands of people dead and many more homeless and injured.
His death is confirmed by his Turkish manager, Murat Uzunmehmet, who wrote on Twitter: “Atsu was pulled out of the wreckage dead. Christian Atsu has been found dead after the Turkey earthquake.”
The former Black Stars winger was one among thousands of people that were trapped under the rubble following a 7.8 magnitude quake that hit the Turkish city of Hatay, where Atsu was staying. Atsu, who just scored the winning goal for his team’s last game against Kasimpasa was said to have head to his apartment right after the match, shortly after, the devastating earthquake occurred and Atsu got trapped.
Local and international media have been reporting the news since the event happened, prayers have been pouring in for Atsu’s life, but efforts to rescue Atsu from the rubble seemed unsuccessful as the Ghanaian player was removed from the wreckage dead.
Atsu is not the only Hatay player who got trapped. The club’s Sporting Director Taner Savut has also been missing for days since he earthquake happened.
The 31-year-old winger and attacking forward started his career in Ghana with Cheetah FC before moving to Portugal in 2009 to sign for FC Porto. At Porto, he started with the youth team before joining the senior side in 2011.
His incredible performances in the Portuguese Primeira Liga earned him his dream move to the English Premier League, signing for London side Chelsea. At Chelsea, the Ghanaian international did not play a single senior club game. He spent most of his time on loan.
Atsu, due to lack of playing time at Chelsea, moved to Newcastle United, where he eventually got the chance to play in the English Premier League. He made 107 appearances and scored 8 goals.
He left Newcastle and went to Saudi Arabia, where he signed for Al-Raed. He made 8 appearances for the club before moving to Turkey in 2022 and signed for Hatayspor.
Atsu made 65 appearances for Ghana, scoring nine goals. He represented Ghana at the African Cup of Nations in 2015 in Guinea. Ghana made it to the finals but lost Ivory Coast.