The football fraternity has come in unison to pay tribute to former Nantes forward Emiliano Sala, whose body was recovered from the wreckage of the plane which crashed over the English Channel.
Argentine footballer Sala, 28, had been flying from Nantes in western France to Wales on January 21 after signing for Premier League team Cardiff City when the single-engine Piper Malibu aircraft disappeared over the sea.
The wreckage was found on Sunday following a privately-funded underwater search and a body was recovered on Wednesday and taken to southern England.
Soon after the news broke out, many footballers took to social media to condole the demise of Cardiff City's record signing.
Manchester United defender Luke Shaw took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, "This is truly sad news, rest in peace Emiliano Sala #RIPSala."
— Luke Shaw (@LukeShaw23) February 8, 2019
Sharing a picture of Sala with ''RIP" written on it, Brazilian footballer and Olympique Lyonnais defender Rafael da Silva tweeted, "RIP @EmilianoSala1. Police confirms Emiliano Sala's body found"
— Rafael da Silva (@orafa2) February 8, 2019
"Rest in peace, Emiliano Sala. Our thoughts are with his family and friends," English Premier League (EPL) club Manchester United wrote.
Rest in peace, Emiliano Sala. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 8, 2019
Dutch footballer Robin van Persie also extended his deep condolences to Sala's family and his loved ones.
"Rest in peace Emiliano Sala, what a terrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to your loved ones #RIPSala," he tweeted.
— Robin van Persie (@Persie_Official) February 8, 2019
Expressing his grief, Manchester City striker Leroy Sane said, "What an incredible tragedy. Thoughts are with the loved ones of Emiliano Sala #RIPsala."
— Leroy Sané (@LeroySane19) February 8, 2019
Arsenal, meanwhile, paid homage to Sala by tweeting, "Our deepest condolences are with the family and friends of Emiliano Sala, and with everyone at @FCNantes and @CardiffCityFC. May you rest in peace, Emiliano."
May you rest in peace, Emiliano pic.twitter.com/7gfnEGvEle
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 8, 2019
Meanwhile, Sala's former club FC Nantes announced that they would retire the number 9 shirt in the memory of the footballer.
Earlier, an official search-and-rescue operation was launched. However, it was called off on January 24 after the chances of survival of Sala and pilot David Ibbotson were deemed to be "extremely remote."
(With inputs from Reuters)