Nantes Retire Number Nine In Tribute To Emiliano Sala

Nantes Retire Number Nine In Tribute To Emiliano Sala
Feb 8, 2019

Cardiff Ligue 1 News

Ligue 1 side Nantes have retired the number nine shirt to honour Emiliano Sala after the tragic passing of the 28-year-old. The tribute comes after Dorset Police confirmed the body found in the wreckage of the plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson was indeed the Argentine footballer.

Following the confirmation of Sala’s death, Nantes released a statement on their official club website, also dedicated to Sala, reading: “There are difficult mornings, nightmarish awakenings, where unhappily reality hit us. Emi is gone. Emiliano Sala arrived on the backs of the Edre in July 2015 and knew how to win the hearts of the Nantes supporters. With his work, his desire and his kindness without limits, he finished as the club’s top scorer in his three seasons.”

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“The homages paid to him nationally and internationally match the player and person that he was. Today, we have lost a friend, a talented player and an exemplary team-mate. We can’t forget in this drama the pilot and his family and have confidence that the authorities will continue their search.”

The statement continued with the FC Nantes president, Waldemar Kitarevealing that the club will retire Sala’s number in honour of their former player.

“I don’t have the words. It’s a tragedy, I’m crushed. Emiliano left his mark. That’s why, like many fans, I wish to honour him by retiring the No.9. Nantes, its board, its staff and its players, wish to pass the families of Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson their deepest condolences. We will never forget you, Emi.”

“He’s an Argentine who never gives up, Emiliano Sala, Emiliano Sala.”

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Sala was flying from Nantes to Cardiff aboard a Piper Malibu aircraft after his £15m transfer to the Welsh club, having returned to Nantes to wish his former teammates well. The initial search, which lasted three days, covered 1,700 square miles across the English Channel. The Cululú-born man’s body was eventually found after two more searches began, notably after heavy requests on social media and footballers alike, and his death was officially confirmed on Thursday, 2nd February.

The football world will always remember him.

Nantes statement translation credit to

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