Christian Atsu was unhappy in Turkey and wanted to leave and had been granted permission by his club to do so, but decided to stay after scoring his first goal.
Atsu has finally been confirmed dead after almost two weeks of being missing under the rubble of the earthquake that struck Turkey on Monday, February 6th 2023.
Following his passing, his club Hatayspor has confirmed that Atsu had a plane ticket to leave Turkey the night of Sunday, February 5th, but cancelled it out of joy after scoring his first league goal.
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Hatayspor Administrative Manager Fatih Ilek told Turkish media outlet NTV that Atsu told the club he was unhappy and had been given permission to travel abroad and search for a new club.
“Christian Atsu, before the match with Gaziantep FK before the earthquake, told the coach that he wanted to take more time. “If I find the team, he can leave. Can I?” Volkan Hodja accepted his request. He did not take time in that match, but he had a ticket after the Kasımpaşa match. He was going to go abroad to his family,” Ilek said.
As fate would have it, just before his flight the night of Sunday, February 5th, Atsu played for his club in a match against Kasimpasa. He had a great game and scored a last-minute screamer to lead Hatayspor to a 1-0 victory.
Extremely happy over the joy of the moment and the exultation of his teammates, Atsu seemingly changed his mind and decided to stay, missing his flight.
Illek continued: “In the Kasımpaşa match, the teacher (coach) gave the task and Atsu played very well. He also scored in the last second. There was such a great unity after the match that Volkan teacher’s embrace of him and his joy in the field and in the locker room cannot go away. This is the destiny point. There was a plane ticket; but he gave up because he played well and scored the goal.
“After the enthusiasm he experienced, he said, ‘I will not go, I will stay here’. He was caught in an earthquake on his happiest day. He had a flight at 11 pm. Istanbul would then go to France. He gave up, it was a complete tragedy.”
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