Emiliano Sala Fans Lay Flowers In Nantes And Cardiff After Plane He Was In Disappeared
Fans in both Wales and France have gathered to hold out hope that footballer Emiliano Sala is found after the plane he was in disappeared on its way from Europe to the UK.
Supporters in Cardiff congregated outside the city's football stadium, which Sala was about to call home after signing with them for £15 million ($19 million), according to news.com.au.
They laid flowers and messages of hope at Cardiff City Stadium.
Fan Josh Thomas said: "[Sala] was the one who was going to turn our fortunes around and score the goals that would keep us up. He was going to be the one adored by the fans, including me. But within a few hours so much has changed."
Similar scenes played out in Nantes, a city in France's west, where Sala had played since 2015. Many donned the club's colours of yellow and green as well as scarfs and beanies.
In a disturbing development on the disappearance, Sala reportedly called his friends shortly before taking off describing how the plane looked like it was in a state of disrepair.
According to the Sun, the Argentine footballer sent a Whatsapp voice message saying: "Hello, little brothers, how are you crazy? Brother, I'm dead, I was here in Nantes doing things...and you do not end any more and you do not finish anymore.
"Boys, I'm here on top of the plane that looks like it's about to fall apart. And I'm going to Cardiff, crazy, tomorrow we already started. In the afternoon we started to train, boys, in my new team."
The newspaper adds that the plane tried to take off three times before successfully doing so on the fourth attempt
The small plane he was travelling on disappeared from radar visibility near to the Channel Islands at about 8.30pm Monday night.
According to the Associated Press, John Fitzgerald said that he is 'not expecting anyone to be alive', adding: "I don't think the coastguard are either. We just don't know how it disappeared.
"As time goes on, the chances of finding survivors gets more and more unlikely. The water temperature is extremely cold at this time of year.
"The area is very tidal and moves very quickly but the search conditions are quite good as it is overcast, which helps because there is no glare off the water."
Rescue teams have been out searching since then but were hampered by difficult conditions and poor visibility.
The search effort was called off last night but is expected to resume at sunrise.
Featured Image Credit: PA