Police have confirmed that the body found in the wreckage of the Piper Malibu aircraft that was found beneath the English Channel, traveling from Nantes to Cardiff as Emiliano Sala.
Sala and pilot David Ibbotson went missing on January 21 when they were traveling from Nantes, after the Argentine bid farewell to his former players, to Cardiff when the plane lost contact and disappeared.
One body was recovered on Thursday, and Cardiff City have since confirmed the sad news that it was indeed their club-record signing.
“The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala,” a statement on Cardiff City’s website read.
“The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers.”
The formal identification of Sala came after remotely operated vehicles in “challenging conditions” were used to recover the body from the wreckage under water “in as dignified a way as possible”, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
Sala’s former club Nantes have decided to retire the club’s number nine jersey in honour of their former striker.