“I’m not going to return unless I succeed. I’m going to make myself proud, I’m going to play to the highest level and before I return, the world will hear of the name Christian Atsu Twasam.”
These are the words the late Atsu told Abdul-Hayye Yartey, his boss at Cheetah FC where he began his football career.
While he sat in the flight to transport him to FC Porto in Portugal, Mr Yartey said Atsu sent him those words via text message amid other words of gratitude.
According to Mr Yartey, Atsu’s sole wish was to make his family and anyone involved in his upbringing proud by playing on the world’s most decorated parks in the presence of thousands of spectators.
He wanted his name to be associated with greatness and positivity, and though he has fulfilled his wish, his ending is not one the world was expecting.
Atsu made those remarks exactly 13 years ago today, February 19, and indeed his return is marked by success and his name on the lips of multitudes including dignitaries, global organizations and clubs, except they are accompanied by tears and heartache.
Irrespective of the sad turnout of events, Mr Yartey said he believes Atsu fulfilled his dreams before passing on in the Turkey earthquake.
”This tells me that whatever he told me before he boarded the plane, he has done it. It is sad in my heart that his last flight back to Ghana is one I have to receive his body. All the same, I am proud of him. If he was here right now, he will tell them not to cry. He doesn’t like seeing people unhappy. I believe he is happy wherever he is currently, so we need not cry,” Mr Yartey said while pushing back tears.
According to him, he shed a tear when he saw Atsu being lowered into the cargo side of the plane rather than the business class where he loved to sit.
‘He was an angel on earth, Christian is indeed a Christian,” he added while admonishing other players to take up Atsu’s humanitarian task.