Tributes to Sala pour in from across world
TRIBUTES have poured in for Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala from around the world after his body was identified recovered from the aircraft wreckage off Alderney.
News of the striker’s death came almost three weeks after his plane crashed en route from Nantes in France to Cardiff.
Pilot David Ibbotson was also on board the aircraft, but no trace of him has yet been found.
Nantes FC changed the landing page of their website to a photo of Sala with the words ‘Nour ne t’oublierons jamais, Emi!’ which translates as: ‘we will never forget you, Emi!’
Cardiff also said that the forward will always remain in their thoughts. The club said in a statement: ‘We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano.
‘He and David [Ibbotson] will forever remain in our thoughts.’
Despite not getting the chance to play for Cardiff, several of his new team-mates shared their sadness at the news of his death, including Joe Bennett, Sol Bamba and Oumar Niasse.
Diego Maradona, who was among those to call on the authorities not to give up trying to find the footballer, posted a tribute on Instagram.
He told how many had kept a ‘light of hope’ for the footballer, adding: ‘I send a big hug to your family and friends’.
Fellow Argentinian Sergio Aguero tweeted: ‘Rest in peace, Emiliano. My condolences to his friends and family #PrayForSala’, while former Nantes team-mate Gabriel Boschilia said on Instagram that it had been a pleasure to play alongside Sala.
European football’s governing body said: ‘A sad day. The thoughts and sincere condolences of UEFA and the whole European football family are with the friends and family of Emiliano Sala this morning.’
Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri, who had joined calls for the search for the plane to be resumed after it was called off, posted on Twitter his condolences to Sala’s family, adding: ‘We are with you’.
Cardiff FC manager Neil Warnock said the club has to accept and move on after the discovery of Sala’s body. He said it has brought ‘peace and comfort’ to the striker’s family.
‘You don’t ever forget things like this, and we all have things like this happen in our lifetime.
‘You just have to move on, and put things at the back of your mind.
‘There are certain aspects of that for me, meeting Emiliano, but the players have grasped that we have to move on and now we’ve got 13 cup finals.’
Cardiff owner Vincent Tan, in a statement to talkSPORT, says the club will continue to work with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch to determine the cause of the accident and pay for the cost of Sala’s repatriation to Argentina.
The club have asked the Premier League to wear commemorative shirts again at Southampton today [Saturday].