Christian Atsu Twasam, a Ghanaian professional football player who played mostly as a winger but could also be used as an attacking midfielder or left-back, was born on January 10, 1992, and tragically passed away on February 6, 2023.
Early life and Education
Atsu was born in the Greater Accra Region’s Ada Foah. He was really poor growing up.
His father was a fisherman and farmer on the banks of the Volta River, and he had ten siblings, including his twin sister.
Atsu attended the West African Football Academy in Sogakope, in the Volta Region of Ghana, after spending some time in the Feyenoord Football School in Gomoa Fetteh, in the Central Region of Ghana.
Then, he relocated to Kasoa to join Cheetah FC.
Atsu arrived in Porto at the age of 17. On May 14, 2011, he signed with Porto and started his professional football career.
He also played a season on loan at Rio Ave.
He was signed by Chelsea for £3.5 million in 2013 and then was loaned to Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, AFC Bournemouth, and Málaga.
Atsu completed a permanent transfer to Newcastle United in May 2017 after spending the 2016–17 season there on loan.
He continued playing after his four-year contract expired with Al Raed in Saudi Arabia and Hatayspor in Turkey, where he was a 31-year-old victim of the Turkey-Syria earthquake in 2023.
Atsu has built a reputation throughout his career for his remarkable dribbling skills, quickness, and ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates.
From 2012 to 2019, Atsu played 65 matches for Ghana as a full international, including four appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations and the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
At the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, where he also won Player of the Tournament and Goal of the Tournament, he contributed to the team’s second-place result.
Atsu was a devoted Christian who frequently posted Bible verses on social media.
He was “a true Christian in every sense of the word,” according to Louise Taylor, who wrote the obituary for The Guardian.
He was involved in charity work and served as an ambassador for the organization Arms Around the Child, which helps underprivileged children.
Christian Atsu also paid thousands of pounds in bail to release Ghanaians who had been imprisoned for stealing food.
Atsu was married to author Marie-Claire Rupio, with whom he had two sons and a daughter.
Off the field, Atsu is noted for his charitable endeavors, including the establishment of the Christian Atsu Foundation, which assists poor children and young people in Ghana.
Atsu went missing on February 6, 2023, in the immediate aftermath of the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake.
Atsu was scheduled to fly to southern Turkey hours before the earthquake, but Hatayspor’s manager said he stayed with the club after scoring the game-winning goal in a 5 February match.
On 7 February, club vice-president Mustafa Özat stated that Atsu had been rescued and was recovering in hospital, while manager Volkan Demirel reported on 8 February that Atsu and sporting director Taner Savut were still missing.
Atsu’s agency reported that two pairs of his shoes had been found, but that Atsu himself wasn’t yet found on February 14.
On the 18th of February, his agency received confirmation that his body had been found in the rubble of the building in which he was staying.
Newcastle United paid tribute to Atsu during their match against Liverpool on February 18.
A minute of applause was held before the commencement of the game.
Atsu’s widow and children were present. The tribute was also paid in other Premier League games that took place over the weekend.
On February 20, his body was transferred from Turkey to his family in Ghana.