Atsu died in Turkey earthquake, body of former Vitaean found
Christian Atsu’s lifeless body has been found in Turkey. This was confirmed by his club Hatayspor. Murat Uzunmehmet, the business manager of the Ghanaian international who played for Vitesse in the past, was the first to report the death.
“The body of Christian Atsu, who lost his life in the earthquake, is on its way to his hometown in Ghana,” Hatayspor reported Saturday morning. “We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be with you, beautiful human being. There are no words to describe our sorrow. Rest in peace.”
The body was found in Antakya, the capital of Hatay province. Atsu was staying there at the Renassaince Residence, a 12-story building that completely collapsed in the earthquake.
Atsu, who turned 31, had been playing in the Turkish Süper Lig with Hatayspor since last September. Hatay is not far from the epicenter of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6.
Immediately after the earthquake, Atsu went missing and much confusion ensued. Turkish media reported after one day that he had been rescued alive from the rubble, but it later turned out to be a mistaken identity. Hatayspor’s club doctor determined at the hospital that it was a different person from Atsu.
Atsu played 65 international matches for Ghana, in which the winger scored nine goals. He was active with Ghana at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
At a young age, Atsu was considered a great talent, playing at FC Porto and Chelsea. That English club loaned him to Vitesse in the 2013/14 season. In Arnhem, he scored five goals in 28 games.
Atsu later played for the likes of Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga, Newcastle United and Al-Raed in Saudi Arabia before ending up in Turkey this season.
After the earthquake, Hatayspor withdrew from the league. The club’s last goal this season was scored on Feb. 5 by Atsu, who scored the winning 1-0 against Kasimpasa in the seventh minute of injury time.