Ghanaian international Christian Atsu (62 caps, 10 goals) was found dead under the rubble of a building, two weeks after the terrible earthquake that hit Turkey on February 6. Only 31 years old, the former Newcastle player leaves behind memories of a man of immense generosity.
Christian Atsu will never step on a soccer pitch again. The 31-year-old Ghanaian international lost his life in the terrible earthquakes that shook Turkey on February 6. Reported missing at first, he was found two weeks later dead under the rubble of a building.
The announcement of his death caused great sadness in the soccer world. From Hatayspor (his last club, in Turkey) to his former teams such as Newcastle, Chelsea, Porto or Everton, all wanted to pay a final tribute to Atsu.
Christian was not only a footballer, he was above all a man who inspired respect by his actions. Very discreet and humble, the Ghanaian had a big heart and never hesitated to help his fellow man. He helped many people solve their problems, gave money to those who needed it," said his former teammate John Paintsil, quoted by BBC Sport Africa. Atsu's mind was so good that he could come up with different ideas. He was jovial and creative, like a movie star. We have lost a great soul. He was one in a million because he sometimes put others before himself."
A player full of talent
As a footballer, the former Chelsea Blue had notably marked the spirits during the 2015 African Cup in Equatorial Guinea. The left-handed midfielder won the trophy for the best player of the tournament and also for the most beautiful goal. However, his team had failed in the final against the Ivory Coast of Yaya Toure in penalty kicks.
"It was a pleasure to be with him and an excellent teammate, someone who had a lot of talent and quality. He was an exceptional player and I am truly honored to have shared special moments with him on the field. He was called the Messi of Ghana because of his style and also the way we relied on him as a team," recalls former Crystal Palace Ghana striker Kwesi Appiah.
Although he left early, Christian Atsu leaves behind great memories that will never fade.