Nantes have paid an emotional tribute to Emiliano Sala following confirmation that his body has been recovered from the wreckage of a plane he was travelling on that crashed on its way to Cardiff.
Messages of condolence have flooded in from around the world for family and friends of the Argentine, as well as the Ligue 1 club he represented with such distinction.
Such kind words have been welcomed by those in France, with Nantes revealing that they are to retire their No.9 shirt as a mark of respect to an Argentine striker who spent four years on their books.
A statement released by the club read: "FC Nantes had the immense sadness on Thursday to learn that the body found was that of Emiliano Sala. This news puts an end to interminable and unbearable waiting. Emiliano will forever be one of the legends who has written the great history of FC Nantes.
"We can’t forget in this drama the pilot and his family and have confidence that the authorities will continue their search.
"For Waldemar Kita, president of FC Nantes: '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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