Christian Atsu Twasam was a professional football player for Ghana who mostly played on the wing but also in the attacking midfield. Atsu started his professional career with Porto and then spent a season on loan at Rio Ave.
Atsu vanished on February 6, 2023, shortly after the Turkey-Syria earthquake, and it is presumed that he is buried somewhere in the wreckage of the Hatayspor headquarters in Antakya. On the 9th of February, manager Volkan Demirel said that Atsu and sporting director Taner Savut were still missing, while the vice president of the club, Mustafa zat, said that Atsu had been rescued and was recovering in hospital.
Two pairs of Atsu’s shoes were discovered, as confirmed by his agent on the 14th of February, but Atsu himself was still missing. His agent was notified that his death had been found in the wreckage of the building where he had been living on the 18th. At around 6 a.m. GMT, news outlets announced his passing.
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Career Opportunities Abroad
On June 1, 2012, against Lesotho, Atsu made his senior national team debut and scored his first goal for Ghana. The BBC called him a “great prospect,” and ESPN called him “quick and technically impressive,” both indicating that he has a bright future on his national team.
The following year, he was a member of Ghana’s team that competed in South Africa at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He started the opener, a 2-2 tie with DR Congo, and came off the bench in the next game, a 1-0 victory over Mali. He was reinstated to the starting lineup for the final group game against Niger in Port Elizabeth and scored twice in a 3-0 victory that advanced his team to the quarterfinals. Ghana finished in fourth place, and Atsu played a key role in their last matches, including scoring the goal that eliminated them from the tournament in a penalty shootout against Burkina Faso.
While Ghana’s 2014 World Cup run ended in the group stage, Atsu was a key member of the team and started every game he appeared in.
In the quarterfinals of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, Atsu scored twice to help his team beat Guinea, 3-0. As a result of his efforts, the squad advanced to the championship game, where they ultimately fell to the Ivory Coast in a penalty kick shootout. Once the tournament came to a close, he was honored as both the tournament’s best player and scorer (his goal against Guinea was named the tournament’s best).
Furthermore, Atsu was selected for the Tournament Team for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, where Ghana finished in the top four. He was selected to represent his country in Egypt at this year’s tournament.
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The Christian faith was important to Atsu, and he often posted inspirational quotes from the Bible online. He was involved in charity work, serving as an ambassador for Arms Around the Child, an organization that helps disadvantaged children; he also paid thousands of pounds in bail money to free Ghanaians who had been jailed for stealing food, as described in his obituary by Guardian writer Louise Taylor, who called him “a true Christian in every sense of the word.”
His father was a fisherman and farmer on the banks of the Volta River, and he was one of 10 siblings. They have three children together: a son and a daughter. Atsu was married to the writer Marie-Claire Rupio.