Football stars unite in sending heartfelt tributes to Emiliano Sala
Today, the football world unites to mourn the untimely death of Argentine forward Emiliano Sala, whose body was recovered on Wednesday, more than two weeks after the plane he was in crashed en route from Nantes to Cardiff.
The 28-year-old was on his way to his new club when the plane, piloted by David Ibbotson, went missing over the English Channel.
Search operations were initially called off on January 24 after Guernsey's harbour master stated that the chances of survival for either one of the people on the plane were "extremely remote".
However, an online appeal started by Sala's agent raised £324,000 to fund a private search. After weeks of searching, a body has finally been recovered, and has been confirmed to be that of Sala's.
The search was led by marine scientist and oceanographer David Mearns, who also tweeted his tribute, "I was glad to provide some small comfort to Romina, Mercedes and the whole Sala family during the past two weeks but my heart goes out to the family and friends of David Ibbotson whose loss is the same."
In a statement, Dorset Police said (via BBC), "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."
"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."
After the identification was confirmed, Cardiff City released a statement saying, saying: "We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts."
Football stars, pundits and clubs around the world have since sent out heartfelt messages for the Argentine on social media: