Hatayspor’s Administrative Manager, Fatih Ilek, has revealed that Christian Atsu was due to visit his family in the United Kingdom but cancelled his plane ticket on the eve of the earthquake in Turkey.
This was shortly after his performance which earned Hatayspor a win over Kasimpasa in the Turkish top flight.
Ilek detailed that Christian Atsu had plans of leaving Turkey but his goal in his last game for the club changed his mind as he joined in the celebrations.
“Christian Atsu told the coach that he wanted to take more time before our match with Gaziantep FK. ‘Can I leave if I find a team?’ he said. Volkan Demirel also accepted this request,” he told Radyospor.
“He didn’t play against Gaziantep FK but scored a last-minute goal in the Kasımpasa match. Actually, he was going abroad to visit his family. But when he played well and scored, he cancelled his ticket. The earthquake happened on his happiest day. He had a flight at 11 pm. Cancelled the ticket. There was an earthquake at 4 am. Absolutely a tragedy.”
Christian Atsu’s body was recovered on Saturday 18, 2023 after he was trapped under rubble following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit south-central Turkey and Syria.
Born in Ada Foah in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana on January 10, 1992, Christian Atsu revealed that money was hard to come by while growing up. He once said that losing his father in tragic circumstances made life even more difficult for his family.
Atsu in 2013, made it big when Chelsea came calling after he was identified as a long-term prospect. Chelsea paid £3.5 million to FC Porto and signed Christian Atsu, who was subsequently loaned to Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, AFC Bournemouth, and Málaga.
Atsu after signing for Chelsea started enjoying the football money and at Newcastle, he was reportedly earning £32,000 weekly and which made him one of the richest Ghanaian footballers from 2016.
In September 2022, Christian Atsu joined Hatayspor as a free agent and reported taking close to $500,000 as a signing-on bonus.