"Atsu had a big heart"- Hatayspor manager opens up on final moments with late Ghana international

Published on: 05 June 2023

Hatayspor manager Volkan Demirel has described late Ghana international Christian Atsu as a man with the 'big heart' due to his generous nature. 

Atsu tragically died following a devastating earthquake which hit Turkey and Syria on February 5, hours after the former Ghana player had scored the match winner against Kasimpasa.

Demiral revealed that Atsu had a meeting with him before the fateful day.

"For two months he’d not played because of injury but in the week building up to the game he came to my office and said that he was ready to play. I told him that’s good, but he wasn’t ready to start. In the last 10 minutes, we decided to put him on," Demirel told The Athletic.

“In the last minute, we got a free-kick and I was telling him to cross it, but he told his team-mates he was going to shoot, and he scored a beautiful free-kick.

“I was so happy for him because he’d been out for a while. He was a good player, but most importantly a good man, a good character, he helped everyone, he would always give money to staff. He had a very big heart.

“After the match, he said to me, ‘I want to keep playing’. The last time I saw him he was happy and then he was gone.”



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