The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has paid tribute to the late Black Stars player Christian Atsu at his funeral service today, Friday, 17th March 2023, at the forecourt of the state house.
The GFA described Atsu as a man who played his role as an excellent football ambassador everywhere he played i.e., Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, England, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
The body of the late Ghanaian footballer arrived in Ghana on February 19, 2023.
Rescuers found his dead body under the rubble of his house in Turkey following the deadly earthquake that struck some parts of Turkey and Syria on Monday, February 06, 2023.
Christian Atsu, a former player of Cheetah FC, Rio Ave, FC Porto, Chelsea FC, AFC Bournemouth, Everton FC, Malaga CF, and Newcastle United passed away on Saturday, February 18, 2023.
Christian Atsu made 65 appearances for Ghana and played at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea where he was adjudged the Best Player of the Tournament.
Atsu was also a member of Ghana’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Read details of the GFA’s tribute below:
Christian Atsu Twasam, affectionately called ‘’Ayigbe Messi’’ by his teammates and the football community made an instant impact the very moment he was called up to the Black Stars on June 1, 2012. Atsu did not only score on his debut but went on to play 65 matches and scored 9 goals for Ghana.
He played in four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and one FIFA World Cup in 2014 in Brazil. Christian was adjudged the best player at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea where Ghana lost to Ivory Coast to finish second.
Atsu was also named in the Team of the Tournament for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, where Ghana came fourth. He was born to make an impact and bring joy into many homes, not only in Ghana but also across the ocean. Christian was described by the BBC as an “excellent prospect”, whilst ESPN added he was «quick and technically impressive», and a potential future star for his national team. Christian, we don’t know why you had to endure that kind of torture and pain before leaving us, but we know we will miss you. With your happy smile and sense of fun, we can’t take it in that you are gone. You brought joy to every life you touched and made a difference wherever you found yourself. But a beautiful soul lives on forever, and we will always treasure and cherish memories of you.
Described by The Guardian obituary writer Louise Taylor as “a true Christian in every sense of the word”, Christian was active in charity, being an ambassador for Arms around the Child, an organization supporting disadvantaged children as he also paid thousands of pounds of bail money to free Ghanaians who had been jailed.
Christian Atsu was loved by his teammates, technical team members, close associates, people in management positions, and even onlookers and supporters. He was such a model and example to us of how we ought to care for and love one another on this side of life, cheerful and in good spirits even when times were hard. For this, he will be greatly missed. Christian Atsu Twasam was a source of hope and inspiration for the oppressed and downtrodden in the football fraternity and society at large. Many young footballers looked up to him as a source of inspiration following his touching journey from the dusts of Kasoa to the pastures of Porto in Portugal, resulting in a career that spanned 13 years before his sad departure.
He played his role as an excellent football ambassador everywhere he played i.e., Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, England, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
His excellent personality and work ethic on the football pitch always showed profoundly. Rest well Christian, may the angels sing thee to thy eternal rest in Abraham’s bosom and may the Lord’s face eternally shine upon you until we meet again. A true football warrior, a gentleman, an icon, a true philanthropist, an issue-oriented person and a farsighted man has left us. We know he is in a good place and having a peaceful rest with his maker. May you rest in the peace you so richly deserve until we meet again. Rest in Peace Christian Atsu Twasam…. Rest well until we meet again! We will miss you!