Body from plane wreckage identified as Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala

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Sala's family and that of pilot David Ibbotson have been told the news and will "continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers", added the statement. "Our thoughts remain with them at this hard time", Dorset Police wrote, adding that they were continuing an investigation of his death with HM Coroner.

The body recovered from wreckage of crashed plane is that of Cardiff City player Emiliano Sala, Dorset Police have said.

After being sold by French soccer club FC Nantes to the Premier League's Cardiff City F.C., the Argentine athlete was preparing to move to Wales to start this new stage of his career.

The wreckage was discovered just hours into a privately funded underwater search, with a single body visible inside.

Guernsey harbourmaster Captain David Barker called their chances of survival "extremely remote" , but a number of high-profile football figures and members of the public answered the family's calls to fund a private search operation.

Sala was with pilot David Ibbotson when the accident happened, whose body is yet to be found.

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"Sadly a search and rescue operation was unsuccessful in locating the plane and the two occupants", the statement continued. "Using specialist equipment the teams succeeded in locating and identifying the plane and recovering Mr Sala's body".

It has emerged that Nantes has demanded payment from Cardiff for the player's transfer.

Bordeaux are entitled to a cut of the fee as well, who was on their books from 2012 to 2015 before joining Nantes.

The search was initially called off by the Guernsey harbor master on January 24, but resumed amid pleas from Sala's family and the support of several soccer stars, like Barcelona's Lionel Messi, Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan. Referee Frank Schneider stopped play in the Ligue 1 match against St Etienne for a minute of applause.

In this image released Monday Feb. 4, 2019, by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showing the rear left side of the fuselage including part of the aircraft registration N264DB that went missing carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala, when it disappeared from radar contact on January 21 2019. Divers can also get down to that depth.