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Ex-Premier League star Christian Atsu’s body is found under rubble 12 days after devastating earthquake in Turkey

  • Christian Atsu has been found dead following the earthquake in Turkey
  • The 31-year-old’s whereabouts were unknown after the disaster on February 6 
  • Atsu represented Porto, Chelsea and Newcastle among others during his career

Former Chelsea star Christian Atsu has been found dead following the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria last week. 

The 31-year-old had been missing since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that took place in the early hours of the morning of February 6 – but one of his agents has now confirmed his body had been discovered under the rubble.

Murat Uzunmehmet revealed the devastating news – 12 days since the disaster struck, telling reporters: ‘Atsu’s lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found.’

There were hopes the former Chelsea, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Everton winger had been rescued, but his club Hatayspor and agent Nana Sechere had revealed over the past week that these claims were untrue

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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.

Christian Atsu, 31, has been found dead following the devastating earthquake in Turkey

Christian Atsu, 31, has been found dead following the devastating earthquake in Turkey

The Ghana international's whereabouts were unknown following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake

The Ghana international’s whereabouts were unknown following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake

Relatives of Atsu waited to receive news as search and rescue operations in Turkey took place

Relatives of Atsu waited to receive news as search and rescue operations in Turkey took place

Sechere explained on Tuesday how Atsu’s exact ‘room location’ and even two pairs of his shoes had been located. 

More than 42,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured in the earthquake, while millions have been left homeless.

Tremors from the deadly quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus.

Atsu had been scheduled to fly out of southern Turkey hours before the quake, but Hatayspor’s manager said on Friday the Ghanaian opted to stay with the club after scoring the game-winning goal in a Super Lig match on February 5.

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.

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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 had been in Turkey since he joined Hatayspor in Septmber last year after leaving Al-Raed

Atsu had been in Turkey since he joined Hatayspor in Septmber last year after leaving Al-Raed

Atsu racked up more than 100 appearances for Newcastle, and also represented Chelsea, Bournemouth and Everton in the Premier League

The winger won 65 caps for Ghana and represented his nation at the 2014 World Cup

Atsu enjoyed an extremely impressive career for several clubs and also his country, Ghana

The 31-year-old moved to Portugal aged 17 to pursue his dream after growing up in Ghana

Atsu's career saw him play in six different countries

The 31-year-old moved to Portugal aged 17 to pursue his dream after growing up in Ghana

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. 

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