The family of Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala has paid tribute to him after police confirmed it was his body which was removed from a crashed plane.
Argentine-born Sala, 28, was travelling to Cardiff in a light aircraft piloted by David Ibbotson, which went missing over the English Channel on 21 January.
The club has offered to pay for Sala’s body to be repatriated to Argentina.
Mr Ibbotson’s body has not been found and Sala’s family hopes authorities “will do their best” to find him.
In a statement, they said: “We would like to thank you for all your signs of affection and support in what is the most painful time of our lives.
“Seeing the whole world mobilised to support us in our research has been an infinitely precious help. Thanks to you, we are now able to mourn our son, our brother.
“On this Friday morning, our thoughts go to David Ibbotson and his family, hoping that the authorities will do their best to find him.”
In a post on Instagram, Sala’s sister Romina said: “Your soul in my soul, it will shine forever thus illuminating the time of my existence. I love you, Tito.”
Sala completed his transfer to Premier League side Cardiff from French club Nantes – for a club record of £15m – just two days before the 21 January crash.
He was returning to the Welsh capital after flying back to France to say goodbye to his former teammates.
Mr Ibbotson, 59, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, was at the controls of the Piper Malibu N264DB when the flight lost contact with air traffic controllers near Guernsey.
Shortly after Dorset Police confirmed identification on Thursday night, Cardiff City issued a statement saying: “We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano.
“He and David will forever remain in our thoughts.”
Full back Joe Bennett wrote “RIP Emiliano”, while centre-half Sol Bamba posted a black-and-white image of the teammate he never got to play alongside.
Manager Neil Warnock said in his pre-match news conference on Friday he hopes Sala’s family find “peace and comfort”.
He also expects Southampton and Cardiff players to wear black armbands in their Premier League match at St Mary’s on Saturday and a minute’s silence to be observed.