The body recovered from the wreckage of a crashed plane is that of Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala, UK Police have said.
Sala, 28, was travelling to Cardiff in a plane piloted by David Ibbotson, which went missing over the English Channel on 21 January.
The Argentine’s body was recovered late on Wednesday after the wreckage was found on Sunday morning.
Dorset Police confirmed the identification on Thursday night.
In a statement, the force said: “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.
“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 body was spotted in the wreckage of the plane on Monday and the authorities were able to recover it two days later, despite “challenging conditions”.
Cardiff City issued a statement shortly after identification was confirmed saying: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”
Some of the club’s players reacted via Twitter. Full back Joe Bennett wrote “RIP Emiliano”, while centre-half Sol Bamba posted a black-and-white image of the team-mate he never got to play alongside.
Stars from the wider footballing world also paid tribute.
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger wrote: “Heartbreaking to hear the news about Emiliano Sala. Rest in peace! Thoughts go out to the family and friends of Emiliano and the pilot.”
And Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil tweeted: “No words to describe how sad this is. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and also to the family of the pilot.”
Mr Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, was at the controls when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers on 21 January.
See some of the tweets below:
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) February 7, 2019
Enorme tristeza 😢 QEDP Emiliano. Mis condolencias a familiares y amigos #PrayForSala 🙏🏾//Terribly sad 😢 Rest in peace, Emiliano. My condolences to his friends and family #PrayForSala 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/n9aV5CGcI1
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) February 8, 2019
Tragic… May you rest in peace. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ybrax86w1t
— Sol Bamba (@Sol14Bamba) February 7, 2019
Heartbreaking to hear the news about Emiliano Sala. Rest in peace! 💙 Thoughts go out to the family and friends of Emiliano and the pilot. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/7P07jFmcQR
— Antonio Rüdiger (@ToniRuediger) February 8, 2019
— Leroy Sané (@LeroySane19) February 8, 2019
RIP EMI 🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) February 7, 2019
— Adel Koraiem (@adelkoraiem) February 8, 2019