Kristian Atsu’s wife has detailed her heartbreaking struggle following the tragic loss of her husband, who was one of 47,000 people killed in catastrophic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria at the start of the month. The body of the late Hattiesspor winger, who played for Newcastle, Chelsea, Bournemouth and Everton during his professional career, was finally discovered last week after an exhausting search for answers as his family’s worst fears came true.
Atsu’s remains have since been flown home to Ghana, where he will be buried.
Partner Marie-Claire Rubio was pictured crying alongside her three children at St James’ Park on Saturday as the club paid a heart-warming tribute to their former player ahead of a 2-0 defeat by Liverpool.
Traveling Reds fans also sang “You’ll Never Walk” as players and fans paid their respects to Atsu.
Speaking for the first time since Hatayspor confirmed the death of his player, Rubio detailed the ongoing suffering while saying his toughest goodbyes.
In a recording shared with Accra-based radio station Peace FM (via Ghana Web), Rubio said: “Hi everyone, many of you are asking if I’m okay now; I’m not okay but I’m trying.
“I’m trying to be strong. I have three kids, they need me. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to sleep, I don’t want to do anything.”
“I just want to be there with him. But life goes on and even though it hurts. It hurts so much here but I try and I will be there for my kids. I miss him, I miss him so much.”
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has revealed he referred to Atsu’s death during his pre-match team talk with his Magpies players, many of whom knew him well after playing with him at Tyneside.
“It’s a real tragedy for Christian and his family,” Howe said after the match.
“I woke up to the news and was really devastated. A lot of guys played with him in the dressing room – I mentioned that in my pre-match conversation with the players.”
Former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez worked with the player during his time at St James’ Park and the Spaniard revealed he struggled to digest the news.
“Yeah, obviously, it’s really sad,” said Benitez. “I had been following the news for a while because they said he was fine. I was in contact with an ex-player and he said he felt it was going to be bad news.
“He was a special person and a good professional – nice lad, great player. He was always smiling. It was really sad for him and everyone involved – sad news.”
I’ve been in touch with him for the past month, and we’ve had a few messages. It was really bad… It was hard for me in English, I was feeling so bad.”
Atsu played 65 times for his country Ghana, scoring nine times having represented Porto, Rio Ave, Vitesse, Málaga and Al Raed during his football career.
His last action on the football field was a stunning 97th-minute free kick for Hatayspor in their 1-0 win over Kasimpasa on 5 February.
Leave a Reply