Authorities Say Soccer Star Was on Missing Plane

Emiliano Sala had just signed record-breaking deal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2019 6:41 AM CST
Soccer Star's Plane Vanishes Over English Channel
In this his picture taken on Nov. 4, 2018, Argentine soccer player, Emiliano Sala, of the FC Nantes club, western France, reacts after scoring during a soccer match against Guingam in Nantes, France. .   (AP Photo/David Vincent)

Argentine soccer star Emiliano Sala signed a new $19.3 million deal with British soccer team Cardiff City on Saturday, then flew to France to say goodbye to his former teammates in Nantes. He didn't make it back to Cardiff. Authorities say the 28-year-old striker was one of two people in a light aircraft that disappeared over the English Channel on Monday evening, the Guardian reports. The Piper Malibu disappeared from radar around 8:30pm near the Channel Island of Alderney, authorities say. As he left Nantes on Monday after visiting his former team, Sala tweeted a picture of himself with the Nantes team with the caption "The last one, goodbye."

French and British helicopters and lifeboats have been searching for Sala and the other missing person, though the search was temporarily suspended early Tuesday because of strong winds and rough seas, CNN reports. The BBC reports that when he signed for the English Premier League team for a record-breaking sum, Sala, who was due to start training Tuesday morning and make his debut for the team Saturday, said: "I can't wait to start training, meet my new teammates, and get down to work." Team chairman Mehmet Dalman said: "We are very concerned by the latest news that a light aircraft lost contact over the Channel last night." (More soccer stories.)

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