(Photo by Fared Kotb/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Remembering Ghanaian Football Star Christian Atsu

The body of the former Newcastle winger has been found following the Turkish earthquake. With condolences pouring in, we take a look into the life of a footballer whom home fans will remember as the “Ghanaian Messi.”

After nearly two weeks since earthquakes rocked Turkey and Syria on February 6, the body of Christian Atsu has been found under the rubble where he lived in Turkey, according to his agent. Playing for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor, the 31-year-old Ghanaian international forward — in the time he was reported still missing — had been an anxious, nerve-racking subject across football media and beyond.

Newcastle,Chelsea, andEverton have sent their commiserations, English football clubs for which Atsu had a stint with, as well as an outpouring of tributes from the football community. His move to the Turkish side in September 2022 now feels like a capstone to his eventful and wide-spanning football career.

Gradually entering the hall of fame of Ghana’s national team, the Black Stars, his journey to this point in football has been one of resilience, dilemmas, strenuous encounters, love, and uncertainties. And it all began in Ada-Foah, a town in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

Christian Atsu Twasam and his twin sister, Christiana Atsupie Twasam were the last to complete a set of 10 siblings born into the Twasam family. Beginning his football education at Feyenoord Academy, now known as West African Football Academy in Sogakope, Atsu’s brilliant performance caught the attention of former Porto coach, Andres Villas-Boas in 2010. His dreams of playing professional football were unleashed at only 19 with a prospective fruitful career ahead of him.

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Christian Atsu: Black Star Remains Lost in Turkey’s Rubble

The Ghana Football Association tells OkayAfrica: "We have sent numerous emails to Turkey’s Football Federation and we have since not received a response; no one is minding us."

The world of football is in a state of confusion and fear, as reports continue to circulate about the fate of Christian Atsu, the Ghanaian footballer who was reported to have been trapped under rubble following an earthquake in Turkey. It has been exactly 11 days since the initial reports, and the uncertainty surrounding his whereabouts has left many Ghanaians worried and deeply concerned.

Atsu plays for the Turkish Süper Lig club, Hatayspor, and was reportedly on the ninth floor of the collapsed building with nine other players and two officials. On Tuesday, February 6, Atsu was reported to have been pulled out alive from the wreckage after 26 hours and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

However, on Wednesday, February 8, Gurbey Kahveci, the team doctor of the club, said that both Atsu and the sporting director, Taner Savut, were still yet to be found, indicating a case of mistaken identity.

Atsu's whereabouts were unclear, and the Ghanaian ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, said they were unsure where he was, although attempts were ongoing to locate him.

Christian Atsu's wife, Marie-Claire Rupio, pleaded with the governments of Turkey and the United Kingdom to deploy more personnel and equipment to help rescue her husband and other people trapped in the rubble.

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