Ghanaian footballer Christian Atsu, who tragically died in Trkiye's twin earthquakes in February, was laid to rest in his home country on Friday, amid tears as the country came together to pay their respects to the former national team attacker.
Atsu, who played for several European teams, including Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle United, was remembered at a state funeral held at State House in Accra.
The funeral was attended by President Nana Akufo-Addo, his vice Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, parliamentarians, and several of Atsu's teammates and retired footballers.
Representatives from the clubs Atsu has played for, including his last team Hatayaspor, were also in attendance.
Atsu's wife, Marie-Claire Rupio, paid an emotional tribute to her husband at the funeral, describing him as a "beloved father and husband." She said, "It breaks my heart to lose you, but you did not go alone. For part of me went with you. Your love is still my guide, and though I cannot see you, you are always so full of life."
Atsu's children also shared their love for their father. They said: "We missed you, dad. You loved us for who we were and accepted us for who we were striving to become. You always made us smile and filled us with strength. Your strength gave us a sense of protection and love. Now that you are in heaven, we know you will continue protecting us. Thanks for being our dad. We will always love and miss you."
Atsu was buried in his hometown of Dogobome in the Greater Accra region.
He scored 9 goals in 65 caps for Ghana.
Source: Anadolu Agency