The body which was recovered from the wreckage of a crashed plane on Wednesday was identified by Dorset Police as that of Argentine striker Emiliano Sala.
The 28-year old forward who was signed by Cardiff City from Nantes in the January transfer window had been travelling back to Wales from France when the plane disappeared over the English Channel.
Remains of the crashed plane were discovered on the seabed at 67 metres of depth last Sunday and recovery operations had been going on since then.
The now identified body of Emiliano Sala which was first spotted in the crashed plane wreckage on Monday was taken to the nearest port of Portland in Dorset for it to be identified.
The identity of the body was confirmed late on Thursday evening by the Dorset Coroner.
The news was given through an online statement by the force, saying: “The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
#Update The body brought to Portland Port today has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.
The families of Mr Sala and pilot David Ibbotson have been updated. Our thoughts remain with them all
— Dorset Police (@dorsetpolice) February 7, 2019
“The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.”
Cardiff City, who had acquired Sala for £15m, issued a statement instantly after the news came in saying: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”
The sad news united many football stars from all over the world who paid tributes to former Nantes striker.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) February 7, 2019
German midfielder Mesut Özil said on Twitter: “No words to describe how sad this is. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and also to the family of the pilot.”
Compatriot Sergio Aguero also paid tribute to Sala in a post giving his condolences to the Argentine’s family and friends.
RIP EMI 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) February 7, 2019
Kylian Mbappe, who donated €30,000 to help fund the private search which found the crashed plane, also took it to Twitter to remember the 28-year old Sala.
The £15 million paid for Sala by Cardiff was a club record fee and was to be paid over a three year period but the Premier League side have refused to make the first payment as a sign of respect towards the families of the victims.