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Fellow players among those to pay tribute to footballer Emiliano Sala

Tributes have been paid to footballer Emiliano Sala. Credit: Mike Egerton/PA

Tributes have been paid to footballer Emiliano Sala after his body was recovered from the English Channel and formally identified.

Fellow footballing stars reacted to confirmation of his death, which came almost three weeks after his plane crashed en route from Nantes, France, to Cardiff.

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Cardiff City Football Club, to which Sala had recently signed for a club record £15 million, said in a statement: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano.

“He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero‏, a fellow Argentinian, tweeted: “Rest in peace, Emiliano. My condolences to his friends and family #PrayForSala”.

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Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri – who had joined calls for the search for the plane to be resumed after it was called off – also posted on Twitter, sending his condolences to Sala’s family, adding: “We are with you”.

The light aircraft was piloted by David Ibbotson, who has not been found.

Arsenal player Mesut Ozil‏ wrote: “No words to describe how sad this is. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and also to the family of the pilot. #RIPsala”.

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Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy tweeted an image of Sala, while Paris Saint-Germain footballer Kylian Mbappe wrote simply: “RIP EMI”.

Everton player Oumar Niasse, who is currently on loan to Cardiff City, tweeted: “RIP @EmilianoSala1 Forever in our thoughts”.