A body recovered from the wreckage of a crashed plane in the English Channel has been formally identified as Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala, Dorset Police in a statement on Thursday.
Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were flying from Nantes in the western France to Cardiff in a single-engine plane on January 21. The small aircraft Piper Malibu N264DB which was carrying the two persons went missing over the English Channel.
The Argentinian striker was supposed to join his new team on the next day after signing a record £15m deal with Cardiff City from French Ligue 1 club Nantes.
The body was recovered late on Wednesday after the wreckage was found on Sunday morning following a privately-funded search.
Geo Ocean III, an offshore support vessel brought the body to the nearest port of Portland in Dorset on Thursday.
“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. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time,” said Dorset Police.
Days after the disappearance of the plane, an Argentine media outlet published a voice message that Sala sent to his friends while on board. In the recorded audio, the 28-year-old footballer told his friends that he the plane seemed it was “about to crash” and he was scared.
Police said it will continue to investigate the circumstances of the incident.