The body which was retrieved from the wreckage of a crashed plane in the English Channel has now been identified as that of Emiliano Sala, Cardiff City's Argentina-born player. This was confirmed by the police on Thursday.

"The body brought to Portland Port today... has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala," a police statement said.

"The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time," it added.

Cardiff City posts message on website

Wreckage of plane carrying missing Argentine football star Emiliano Sala found
Emiliano Sala

Sala, who was snapped up by Cardiff City in a record-signing, was flying to join his new club from Nantes when the flight disappeared and crashed in the English channel.

After the official police word, Cardiff City too posted a message on the website.

"We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano. He and David will forever remain in our thoughts," the Welsh club said.

The police have however maintained that the reason behind the plane crash is still being investigated, but the process is impeded owing to poor weather conditions.

Argentine newspaper Clarin had carried the last voice message from Sala which was sent to his friends from somewhere mid-air.

"We're up in the plane and it seems it's about to crash," said the message, which Clarin said. It was subsequently verified by Sala's father, Horacio Sala.

"If you have not heard anything from me in an hour and a half, I don't know if they're going to send someone to find me, because, you know, they're not going to be able to," the message said. "Dad. I'm really scared."