• FS1
    9:00 PM PST

    9:30 PM PST

Soccer's Emiliano Sala Confirmed Dead After Body Pulled From Plane Wreckage

2/8/2019 7:07 AM PST

Soccer's Emiliano Sala Confirmed Dead After Body Pulled From Plane Wreckage

Breaking News

Emiliano Sala -- an Argentinian soccer player -- has been confirmed dead ... coroner's ID'd a body that was pulled from a tragic plane crash as his, Dorset Police announced.

The 28-year-old had boarded a small plane in France with a pilot on Jan. 21 destined for Wales ... but it crashed in the English Channel shortly after takeoff. 

The striker -- who was in the process of completing a transfer from FC Nantes to Cardiff City FC -- was reportedly concerned mid-flight, sending a cryptic audio message in Spanish to friends.

"I am now aboard a plane that seems like it is falling to pieces," Sala said [translated from Spanish] ... "I'm going to Cardiff now, crazy, and tomorrow we get going. I will train with my new team tomorrow."

"If you do not have any more news from [me] in an hour and a half, I don't know if they need to send someone to find me. I am getting scared!"

The plane disappeared from radar ... and after three days of trying to find it -- police called off the official search.

A private search was launched on Jan. 27 ... and the wreckage -- plus a body -- were found. Dorset Police announced Thursday the body had been ID'd as Sala's.

Sala was a star for Nantes before transferring to Cardiff City ... he led the team in goals the past three seasons.

His transfer fee was around $20 million ... a record signing for Cardiff City.

FC Nantes President, Waldemar Kita, said in a statement Friday [translated from French], "I do not have the words, it's a tragedy, I'm devastated."

"Emiliano left his mark, which is why, like many fans, I want to honor him again by retiring the number 9."

Watch TMZ Sports on FS1 Get the new TMZ Sports app!


Click To View
Hot Video

More From

Around the Web