Former Leicester boss Ranieri pays homage to missing footballer Emiliano Sala

By Luke Smith

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Former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri says Emiliano Sala is a “wonderful character” and a “fighter”.

The Cardiff City record signing was on the light aircraft that went missing over the Channel Islands on Monday. He was travelling from Nantes to Cardiff to begin training with his new club, having joined on Saturday.

The search for Sala and aircraft pilot David Ibbotson has now been called off, with Guernsey police tweeting that rescuers were “no longer actively searching” for the plane.

Harbourmaster Captain David Barker, who made the statement, said the chances of survival “are extremely remote”.

Ranieri, now Fulham manager, worked with Sala at FC Nantes throughout the 2017/18 season, with the Argentine ending the campaign as the club’s top scorer.

In a statement on the Fulham FC official website, Ranieri said: “Like everyone else, I was devastated to hear the news that Emiliano was on board the aircraft. Emiliano is a wonderful character. Knowing him as a person, he’s a fighter.

“He’s a fantastic footballer who always gave his best when we worked together in France. The world of football will be united in wishing and hoping for some positive news. In the meantime, I – along with the Nantes and Fulham families – pray for Emiliano and his family.”

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