Friday, 8 February 2019
Emiliano Sala's body has been recovered from the crash wreckage of a plane that carried footballer
The family later released a statement thanking the public for their support at what they described as 'the most painful time of our lives'.
The statement continued: 'Seeing the whole world mobilized to support us in our research has been an infinitely precious help. Thanks to you, we are now able to mourn our son, our brother.
After it was confirmed the body was that of Mr Sala this morning, an expert said he fears Mr Ibbotson's remains may never be recovered because it was not in the wreckage still at the bottom of the seabed.
Stars of world football posted tributes to Sala online in the wake of the announcement.
Diego Maradona posted a tribute on Instagram. He told how many had kept a 'light of hope' for the footballer, adding: 'I send a big hug to your family and friends'.
Fellow Argentine, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, added: 'Terribly sad. Rest in peace, Emiliano. My condolences to his friends and family.'
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil said: 'No words to describe how sad this is.Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and also to the family of the pilot.'
Wayne Rooney added his voice to the many tributes, tweeting a black and white picture of Sala with the message: 'Rest in peace. Thoughts are with friends and family.'
Cardiff released a statement on their website which read: 'We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.'