Christian Atsu’s wife Marie-Claire Rupio has narrated her heartbreaking ordeal six months after husband’s death in Turkish earthquake
The wife and lover of the late Ghanaian footballer and former Newcastle United midfielder has gone deep on her travails months after Atsu’s death.
Understandably, Maria Claire Rupio is likely going through a lot following her husband’s shock demise. From the shock of the loss, the lonely moments, the burden of single parenthood, constantly answering sublime queries from her innocent children about when their Dad will call or return, and other changes, Rupio will need the strength of an eagle to weather the scenes that will unfold following Atsu’s death.
Speaking with the BBC, the mother-of-three has revealed it hasn’t been easy since Christian Atsu’s death six months ago.
Rupio revealed how she ‘was shocked’ and found it ‘hard to believe’ when she learnt of the terrible earthquake and the subsequent demise of Christian Atsu.
“I was shocked. It was hard to believe. “I didn’t believe that it could happen in a place [where] he would be,” she said.
Rupio said she kept her faith Christian Atsu will be fine after the earthquake only for her sister to call and tell her Atsu’s building was levelled by the earthquake.
Meanwhile, she had spoken with Christian Atsu on Saturday a day before his first match with Hatalyspor and was about to speak to him again on Monday after the match on Sunday.
On how the children responded to the news of the earthquake, Rupio revealed her children learnt in school their father has been found alive but when they came home they learnt he was not yet found – a development on the story she found disturbing and “wasn’t nice.”
There were reports Christian was found alive but injured inside the rubble before the report was debunked by the rescue team, who later confirmed Christian Atsu is dead.
She also added her second son, Godwin, has been asking her when his father will call or return – questions ‘she has found very hard to answer.’
Rupio revealed Professional Footballers Association got her a therapist as she tries to cope with the loss while her eldest son, Joseph, 6, was also attended to by counsellors at his school.
On how she is coming to terms with the loss, Rupio revealed it ‘has not been easy’ but she had to be strong and move on.
“You have to be strong,” You’re allowed to show emotions, obviously, but you can’t fall down.
“You have to be the rock now for everybody. I do break down a lot of times, so it’s not easy to balance everything.”
Christian Atsu’s wife Marie-Claire Rupio on Atsu’s charities
Rupio spoke candidly about Christian Atsu’s life off the field, revealing he was generally a good person off the field who helped a lot of people and touched lives and communities.
“He helped a lot of charities, even in the UK,” she said. “He’s helped a lot of people in Ghana. You can’t really talk just about [his] talent, he’s been a good person as well.
“The people who are close do know that, even from the outside as well, they have seen it.
Aside from his club and national team career, Christian Atsu identified with a number of charity works. Becky’s Foundation, based in Ghana, is one of such charity adventures by the late footballer.
Christian used Becky’s Foundation to convert a children’s home into a school and regularly paid a visit to the children.
Christian Atsu met Marie-Claire Rupio in 2013 when he was in the Premier League with Chelsea. The pair got married and have three children together, two boys and one girl.
Marie-Claire Rupio was in England with the children when the devastating earthquake struck, killing over 50,000 people and leaving scores injured.
Christian Atsu unfortunately happened to be among the casualties. He was found dead two weeks after the disaster and was flown to Ghana and buried on 17 March 2023.