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John Terry leads tributes to former team-mate Christian Atsu


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Ex-Chelsea captain John Terry has led tributes from players to Christian Atsu following confirmation of his death in the earthquake in Turkey.


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.


There had initially been hopes the Ghana international had been rescued, but his club Hatayspor and agent Nana Sechere revealed the claims were not true.


Atsu began his Premier League career with Chelsea, before moving on to Newcastle United and Everton.


Terry, who captained the Blues at the time, posted 'RIP my friend' following confirmation of the news.


Another member of the Chelsea squad at the time, Michael Essien, posted 'rest well king'.

Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi were among other former Chelsea players to offer their tributes.


Batshuayi is currently for Fenerbache in Turkey, with Atsu having played for Hatayspor in the nation's top division.


Atsu had joined Chelsea after breaking through at Portuguese giants Porto, having also had a loan spell at Rio Ave.


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.


Atsu made a permanent move to the Magpies in 2016 and was part of their promotion winning campaign in the 2016-17 season under Rafa Benitez.


Dwight Gayle, who had been a member of the team, gave a touching tribute on social media, highlighting his contribution away from the game.


'My condolences to your family,' Gayle wrote.


'It was a pleasure to share our time together and you was one of the nicest people I’ve met in football from opening schools back home to just having a constant smile day to day.

'The world needs more people like you and you will be truly missed. RIP brother.'


Former Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given added 'Terrible sad news about Christian Atsu. Thoughts and prayers with his family and friends.'


Newcastle have confirmed they will hold a minute's silence for Atsu ahead of their match against Liverpool.

Atsu made 121 appearances in total over five years for the club, before moving to Saudi Arabia to play for Al-Raed.

He joined Hatayspor last September.

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. 


There were hopes the former winger had been rescued after the disaster first unfolded, but Hatayspor and agent Sechere had revealed over the past week that these claims were untrue. 


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.


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.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry pair tribute to his friend Christian Atsu on social media

Atsu, 31, was found dead following the devastating earthquake in Turkey over a week ago

Dwight Gayle was among numerous Premier League players to offer their tributes to Atsu





source: Daily Mail UK