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Body of star footballer who perished in lake accident found

Last updated 11 months ago | By Mirror

Switzerland women’s international Florijana Ismaili [Courtesy]

Tributes have been paid to Switzerland women’s international Florijana Ismaili after her body was discovered days after she went missing in Italy.

Ismaili, 24, was declared missing on Saturday after jumping into Lake Como from a boat and failing to resurface.

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Local firefighters had been looking for her using an autonomous underwater vehicle which could search down to depths of 200m, while divers were also deployed.

Italian rescue services discovered her body on Tuesday, stating that she had been found at a depth of 204 metres.

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Swiss women’s boss Nils Nielsen said: "I am deeply saddened and shaken. It's hard to accept that Flori is gone.

"She always had a smile on her face and inspired us with her happy nature. She was someone who faced every challenge and set the example.

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"I can only imagine what it must be like for all those who knew Flori longer and closer than me. But my thoughts are with them in these difficult times."

She was declared missing on Saturday after jumping into Lake Como [Courtesy]

Tributes have been pouring in for Ismaili, who was the captain of BSC Young Boys Frauen, led by Liverpool star Xherdan Shaqiri.

He posted on social media: "I am deeply shocked by the death of Florijana Ismaili.

"My family and I would like to express our condolences to the Ismaili family and those close to them.”

Gianni Infantino, president of world football's governing body FIFA, also paid tribute.

He stated: "This is an extremely sad moment for all the football community, particularly at a time when we gather at the Fifa Women's World Cup."

Lia Walti, an international teammate who plays in the WSL for Arsenal, said: "Until the last moment, I still had hoped for a miracle and wished in my heart that everything was just a bad dream.

"The news has hit me deeply and you cannot find any right words at such a moment. I just hope very much that Flori did not have to suffer."

Ismaili, who is of Albanian descent, was in the Switzerland squad at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

She won 33 caps for her country, scoring three goals.