A state funeral was held Friday in Accra, the capital of Ghana, to honor soccer player Christian Atsu, who died in the earthquake that rocked Turkey last month.
Presided by the Head of State Nana Akufo-Addo, the ceremony took place in the presence of the family of the deceased but also former teammates, who wore a T-shirt with his effigy, and many fans, who paraded in front of the coffin draped in the colors of Ghana and installed under a white tent.
Several speakers followed, including the player's widow, Marie-Claire Rupio, who could not hold back her tears.
"You did not leave alone, a part of me went with you. Your love continues to guide me. (...) You seemed immortal. Your smile, your love, I see you in the smile of our children," she said.
Christian Atsu died at the age of 31 in the powerful earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on February 6 and killed more than 50,000 people. He had been playing for Hatay (Turkish first division) since last September, based in Antakya (south), near the epicenter.
After two weeks of searching, his body was found on February 18 in the rubble of the building where he lived.
During his career, the Ghanaian international (65 caps), also known in his country for his philanthropic activities, played in England, at Chelsea and Newcastle, or at FC Porto.
He will be buried in Ada, his hometown in the southeast of Ghana.