Torrents of tributes have been pouring in from people from all walks of life since the announcement of the death of former Ghanaian international and Hatayspor FK player, Christian Atsu was announced by his club.
Christian Atsu succumbed to death after he was trapped under rubble, since the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria last Monday.
In the tribute of his club, the statement said, “We will not forget you, Atsu. Peace be upon you, you beautiful person. There are no words to describe our sadness. Rest in Peace”.
On his part President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo , said “On behalf of the government and people of Ghana, I extend sincere, heartfelt condolences to the widow, children and family of our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, on the sad news of his death,” Akufo-Addo wrote on Facebook on Saturday.
“Ghana football has lost one of its finest personnel and ambassadors, and he will be sorely missed.
“May his soul rest in the Bosom of the Almighty until the Last Day of the Resurrection when we shall all meet again. Amen!” Akufo-Addo added.
Former president John Dramani Mahama said “RIP Christian Atsu! We all held our breaths, and we prayed as we heard the miracles of people pulled out of the rubble. We prayed that ours would be one of those miracles, too. Alas, it was not to be. But in all, we give thanks to the almighty God for giving Atsu to us even for the short 31 years of his life. At this time, Lordina and I extend our deepest condolences to his family and the football fraternity in Ghana and across the globe”.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia also wrote on Facebook: “In a nervous state, we were hoping for the best of news. Now, we are a nation in grief, following news of the tragic demise of our illustrious son, Christian Atsu. My deepest condolences to his widow, family and friends. Rest in peace, Christian”.
The captain of the senior national team, who was one time colleague of Christian Atsu, said, he was totally devastated.
They were similar tributes from his former clubs, including Chelsea, as well as celebrities.
Over the course of his career, Christian Atsu played for several clubs, such as Porto, where he began his international career, Rio Ave, Chelsea, Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, AFC Bournemouth, Málaga and finally Hatayspor FK, where he met his untimely and unfortunate death.
Christian Atsu, while with the Black Stars scored ten goals.
Christian Atsu’s influence extended beyond the soccer pitch as well. He used his wealth for social causes. He paid for the release of prisoners, including one Peter Enin, a visually impaired man who had been sentenced over an undisclosed criminal offence. He also reportedly funded an operation for a gravely ill 62-year-old female prisoner.
Ghanaian football lovers, will vividly remember the 31-year-old for his swift play from the right wing. He won the hearts of Ghanaians right from the beginning of his international career where he capped a wonderful debut with a goal against Lesotho in 2012.
Christian Atsu, was more than just a great soccer player. He was a philanthropist, who touched many lives.
There is no doubt that Christian Atsu, will be fondly remembered by football-loving Ghanaians and the many lives he impacted.
Atsu, last touch as a footballer was scoring a brilliant free-kick, on Sunday, before the earthquake struck on Monday. No crystal ball could have predicted that he was actually saying goodbye by putting smiles on the faces of supporters of Hatayspor FK.
As he goes the way of all mortals, this newspaper joins his family, the people of Ghana, his team mates, former clubs, friends and colleagues, to wish him a peaceful repose in Heaven.