Atsu Graciously Paid His Dues To Mother Ghana – Government
Testimonies about the late Christian Atsu’s commitment and contributions to the national team continue to pour in as the final funeral rites of the footballer proceed.
Family, friends, footballers and top personalities, including President Akufo-Addo, gathered to pay their last respect to the late Hatayspor player.
A tribute read by the Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, on behalf of the state attested to the selfless nature and the commitment of Christian Atsu to football in Ghana.
“On the occasion of mourning our son, brother and colleague, we believe that Christian Atsu graciously paid his dues to Mother Ghana, and memories of his commitment and contributions to the national team, the Black Stars, will forever remain in the minds of both present and future generations. His legacy will remain an inspiration for the Black Stars, the football fraternity and generally, the youth of our country, Ghana,” the government eulogized Atsu on Friday, March 17, at the funeral held at the forecourt of the State House in Accra.
“As human beings, creatures of the Almighty God, departing from each other in response to the Creator’s call is natural, but the departure of a patriot, full of wisdom, humility and kindness, is really painful. But as we always say, when such painful departures occur, we cannot question God. He knows best”.
Mr Ussif indicated the painful loss of Christian Atsu had created indelible imprints on the minds and hearts of compatriots, teammates, friends, families and the nation.
“Government and Ghanaians, in general, will continue to remember Christian Atsu as one of the committed, dedicated and result-oriented youth and football stars of our time. Atsu demonstrated the capacity to fully achieve his potential in his profession. His interest in developing and utilizing his talent for the Ghanaian people and beyond will forever remain a reference point. Throughout his career, Atsu interacted with many well-meaning Ghanaians and international partners at both personal and professional levels,” he noted.
The minister added: “His first close interaction with the Ministry of Sports was his first call-up to the Black Stars in 2012. His stellar performance with the Black Stars, right from his debut match against Lesotho on 1st June 2012 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, endeared him to many Ghanaians. A new Black Star was born that day, no doubt. As one of the youngest players in the team, with much expectation from Ghanaians, he exhibited beyond the talents and skills known to many when he scored the fifth goal in the Black Stars’ seven-goal thrashing of Lesotho.
The BBC described him as an “excellent prospect”, a “quick and technically impressive” player with high potential in the National team”.
Mr Ussif reiterated Christian Atsu’s commitment to honouring call-ups whenever he was called upon and cited the most memorable performance with the Black Stars at the 2015 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea.
“Atsu continued to serve Ghana through the Black Stars in many assignments, including the African Cup of Nations in South Africa in 2013, Equatorial Guinea in 2015, Gabon in 2017 and Egypt in 2019. He also represented Ghana at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. His most memorable performance with the Black Stars was at the 2015 Afcon in Equatorial Ghana, where he won the Player of the Tournament after his excellent performance helped the Black Stars to reach the grand finale,” he expressed.
He said, “In all the Ministry’s interactions with the Black Stars, Atsu always displayed calmness, an attribute his mates have attested to his acclaimed humane nature, friendliness, love for people, commitment to mother Ghana and team spirit were exceptional and deserved emulation. Even at the peak of his career, Atsu remained himself and was never overtaken by pride, arrogance and indiscipline. We pray that our brother, our son and our Black Star, finds the best place with the Lord,” he concluded.
Atsu, 31, was found dead on February 18, 2023, following the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria on February 6, which killed more than 50,000 people in both countries.
His last club was Hatayspor club.