Christian Atsu, a Ghanaian soccer star who played in the English Premier League for Everton and Newcastle United, was found alive in the aftermath of an earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria.
The Ghana Football Association tweeted Tuesday they received information that Atsu was alive. He was pulled from a collapsed building in Turkey. Atsu currently plays for the Turkish club Hatayspor.
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“We've received some positive news that Christian Atsu has been successfully rescued from the rubble of the collapsed building and is receiving treatment,” the Ghana Football Association wrote in a tweet. “Let’s continue to pray for Christian.”
A Hatayspor spokesman told Turkish media on Monday that Atsu was thought to be in a building that was brought down after a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck southeastern Turkey and Syria. The death toll from the powerful quakes has risen to more than 5,000.
Atsu got his start in Portugal and helped Porto win the Primeira Liga during the 2012-13 season. He had signed with Chelsea on a five-year deal but had been loaned to several other clubs and never actually made an appearance for the Blues.
He has 65 national team appearances and nine goals.
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The earthquake struck the region early Monday and was centered in Turkey’s southern province of Kahramanmaras. The rumbling was felt as far away as Cairo in Egypt. The subsequent temblors caused more destruction.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.