Footballer Christian Atsu of Ghana found dead in Turkey

Joash Ochieng (left) of Kenya tackle Christian Atsu Twasam of Ghana during their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier match at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi on September 08, 2018. Kenya won 1-0. [File]

Footballer Christian Atsu of Ghana has been found dead under the rubble of a building where he lived in southern Turkey.

His body was found almost two weeks after an earthquake hit the nation with conflicting reports that he might be alive or dead but it later emerged that the body that had been claimed to be his belongs to someone else.

"Atsu's lifeless body was found under the rubble. Currently, more items are still being taken out. His phone was also found," his Turkey-based agent Murat Uzunmehmet told reporters in Hatay.

The 32-year-old footballer who was playing for Hatayspor was scheduled to fly out of the region hours before the earthquake but he decided to stay with the club.

Before moving to Turkey in September last year on a one-year contract, he spent eight years in the English Premier League, playing for Chelsea, Bournemouth, Everton and Newcastle.

He was signed by Chelsea from Porto in 2013 before being sent on loan to Dutch club Vitesse. He was also loaned out to Everton, Bournemouth and Malaga before another loan move to Newcastle in 2016. He would thereafter sign for the club permanently in 2017.

He made 249 club appearances scoring 23 goals and represented the Ghana national team 65 times and scored 9 goals.