Argentina legend Diego Maradona has expressed sympathy for the family of compatriot Emiliano Sala, who was on a plane that disappeared over the English Channel on Monday.
Sala was travelling from Nantes to Wales, where he was due to link up with Cardiff City after completing a club-record move to the Premier League club on Saturday.
Search and rescue teams scoured a vast area off the Channel Islands throughout Tuesday before resuming the effort early on Wednesday.
Guernsey Police revealed that the search is focused on a scenario whereby those on board made it to a life raft after landing on water, although other theoretical outcomes are also being considered.
Maradona took to Instagram to add his own voice to those hoping Sala will be found alive and well.
“I cannot even imagine [what] the family of Emiliano Sala is going through,” he said. “My wish, and that of everyone, is that you have landed at a different airport…”
A WhatsApp audio message said to have been sent by Sala to friends has also emerged and reveals his concerns about the light aircraft on which he was set to travel.
“Hello, how are you crazy guys?” begins the message. “My bro, I am so tired. I was here in Nantes, doing so many things and things and things, and seems to never end!
“So that’s it guys. I am here in the plane, that looks like it’s going to fall apart, and I am travelling to Cardiff.
“We start there tomorrow, I have training in the afternoon with new team, and let’s see what happens.
“How are you bros? Everything okay? If in an hour and a half you don’t receive news from me, I do not know if they are going to send someone to look for me because they will not find me, but you already know. I am so afraid.”
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