London, February 4: The wreckage of the plane carrying Emiliano Sala which disappeared has been found in the English Channel, the investigators confirmed.
"I can confirm it has been found," a spokesperson from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) confirmed.
The 28-year-old was travelling from France to join up with his new club, Premier League side Cardiff City, in a light aircraft manned by David Ibbotson on January 21 when it disappeared close to the Channel Islands.
Tributes were paid to the striker on both sides of the Channel over the weekend as hopes faded he would be found alive and it was confirmed by the AAIB.
😔 The plane that was carrying Emiliano Sala and his pilot David Ibbotson has been found in the English Channel, with both men presumed dead.— SPORF (@Sporf) February 3, 2019
🙏 Our thoughts are with the families & friends of both men, who finally have some closure. pic.twitter.com/k4VdddBBth
Sala's father Horacio spoke of his shock from his home in Progresso, Argentina, telling Cronica TV: "I can't believe it. It's a bad dream."
Horacio was the only member of the Sala family to stay behind in Argentina as the others rushed to France to try to help with the search.
"I talk to them every day. But since I don't have WhatsApp it's expensive to call them or for them to call me. But anyway, they kept saying days were going by, and that there had been zero word on Emiliano, or on the plane," he said.
Suspected debris from the plane washed up on the Normandy coastline in France last Wednesday.
Sala was travelling in the Piper PA-46 Malibu plane after transferring from French team Nantes in a €17 million move - a record deal for the Welsh team.
It vanished from radar around 20km north of Guernsey, with pilot Ibbotson the only other person aboard.