FORMER Chelsea player Christian Atsu tweeted his joy after scoring a winner hours before he was buried in the rubble of the earthquake in Turkey.
Rescuers are desperately trying to find the Ghana ace after his home was destroyed in the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck early on Monday
A destroyed building in the Turkish city of Kahramanmaras
Former Chelsea and Newcastle winger Christian Atsu is trapped under rubble
Just hours before the earthquake, Atsu scored a last minute free kick
Several of Atsu's Hatayspor teammates have been rescued but the ace is still missing
The 31-year-old Atsu now plays for Hatayspor, who he joined last summer.
The earthquake rocked the city of Kahramanmaras, where the team are based.
Several of his team mates were dramatically rescued in their homes after the earthquake struck at 4am local time, reports Turkish paper Star.
But Atsu and Hatayspor's sporting director Taner Savut remain missing under rubble at their respective homes.
Just hours earlier Atsu scored a spectacular 97th minute free kick to secure his side a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa in the Turkish Super Lig.
"Important win for the team. Happy to be on the scoresheet," he tweeted.
Footage of Atsu being mobbed by his team mates as ecstatic fans celebrated was widely shared on social media, along with messages praying for him to be found.
He isn't the only player from the team missing, with Yeni Malatyaspor goalie Ahmet Eyup also trapped.
The club's technical Director Volkan Demirel issued an appeal for help on his social media account.
“Things are very bad here. Help, we can't reach people. Whoever can come, come now. We can't reach anyone.”
Over 1,000 people are believed to have died in the earthquake that struck Turkey around 4am on Monday morning.
The city of Kahramanmara was lit up by flames after a gas pipeline exploded after being ruptured by the earthquake.
And experts say the toll could rise to 10,000 after a second 7.5 magnitude quake hit later on.
Neighbouring Syria was also hit badly, with the tremor felt in Egypt and Cyprus too.
Just yesterday Atsu struck a 97th minute for Hatayspor against Kasimpasa.
And fans are praying the winger is found safe and secure.
One said: "How the world was happy when he scored a goal yesterday, this is how the world appreciates your loved ones, friends."
Another declared: "The man scored a goal yesterday, he was happy like crazy, now it comes to my mind, I'm crying."
One added: "God help them."
Atsu joined Chelsea from Porto for £3.5million in 2013 but didn't make a single appearance for the Premier League giants.
He took in loans at Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle.
And the Magpies made his deal permanent in 2017 after Atsu played a key role in their promotion from the Championship.
The ace ended up making 86 appearances for Newcastle before joining Al-Raed in 2021.
Atsu moved to Hatayspor last summer and has one goal in four games for the Turks.
Experts reckon the death toll could rise to 10,000
Atsu never made a senior Chelsea appearance but played for Newcastle 86 times