Michael Essien hopes and prays Atsu is alive


Former Chelsea star Michael Essien has shared a heartfelt message to his former team-mate Christian Atsu and said he ‘is still hoping and praying’ the Ghana international is alive.

The 31-year-old’s whereabouts remain unknown following the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria during the early hours of Monday morning after his current club Hatayspor revealed claims that he had been rescued were untrue.

More than 17,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured after a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude earthquake, while millions have been left homeless.

Tremors from the deadly quake – which lasted about a minute and could be Turkey’s largest ever – were felt as far away as Egypt, Lebanon and the island of Cyprus.

And Essien put out a heartfelt message on his Instagram page to his former team-mate.

Sharing a photo of the pair in Chelsea kit, Essien said: ‘I am still hoping and praying my good friend Christian Atsu is still alive.

‘My heart goes out to all the people of Turkey and Syria especially families of the victims of this tragedy.

‘Every life is important and we hope the government of Turkey and people around the world will continue to provide support to save as many people as possible. @armsaroundthechild.’

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