Late Argentine striker Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson had gone missing after the aircraft carrying them crashed into the English Channel. Emiliano was on his way to Cardiff City football club in Wales to complete a transfer move from French club Nantes in a club-record deal of 15 million pounds. Sala was bought in to bolster the struggling Premier League club and with an impressive record of 12 goals in 19 appearances, the footballer was in his peak form. Sala scored his last goal in the Ligue 1 fixture between Nantes and French giants Marseille on 5th December 2018.

Sala’s goal was a crucial one for Nantes in the 30th minute of the match when his side was a goal down. He headed in the equalizer from an Abdoulaye Toure cross from the right flank. Following this, Marseille took the lead once again but the Argentine once again was at the center of events with another contribution in the form of an assist. Nantes went on to defeat Marseille.

Here’s Emiliano Sala’s last goal:

Yesterday, after days of intense search, Sala’s body was identified after being recovered by British investigators from the submerged wreckage of a plane that went down in the Channel.

According to AFP, The Argentine striker’s body was first spotted by rescuers with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on Sunday close to where the plane went missing near the British island of Guernsey.

It was recovered on Wednesday and brought to the Isle of Portland in southern England on board the Geo Ocean III offshore supply ship on Thursday for formal identification by coroners, who investigate violent deaths in Britain.

Emiliano Sala, police said.

The Argentine striker’s body was first spotted by rescuers with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) on Sunday close to where the plane went missing near the British island of Guernsey.

It was recovered on Wednesday and brought to the Isle of Portland in southern England on board the Geo Ocean III offshore supply ship on Thursday for formal identification by coroners, who investigate violent deaths in Britain.

“The body brought to Portland Port today has been formally identified… as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala,” police in Dorset, the county where the body was taken, said on Twitter.

“The families of Mr. Sala and pilot David Ibbotson have been updated. Our thoughts remain with them all,” police said.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which recovered the body, said that bad weather in the busy shipping thoroughfare meant it was unable to recover the plane and as a result was closing down the operation.

The light aircraft was carrying the 28-year-old footballer to his new Premier League team Cardiff City when it disappeared near Guernsey on January 21, along with 59-year-old Ibbotson.

Sala’s disappearance prompted an outpouring of grief across the footballing world, including at his former club Nantes in France where the plane was flying from.

After search operations were suspended in the days after the plane went missing, a shipwreck hunter hired by Sala’s family, with funds donated by football stars such as Lionel Messi, found the wreckage on Sunday.

The AAIB then co-ordinated the recovery and the rescued body was taken to Portland Harbour earlier on Thursday and was seen being stretchered into a silver van.

(With Inputs from AFP)