Cape Town - Nantes fans, players and head coach Vahid Halilhodzic have paid tribute
to Emiliano Sala during an emotional training session on Thursday.
the first time the French Ligue 1 club have trained since Sala
disappeared from radar onboard an light aircraft over the English Channel.
Halilhodzic admitted the disappearance of Sala had left him "completely
shocked" while fans said they felt as if they had lost
"someone from our own family".
Sala had been on his way from the
French club to Wales on Monday night where he was due to start a new
period in his career with Premier League Cardiff City.
on Thursday that the chances of finding the 28-year-old Argentine alive
were "extremely remote" as they announced they were ending their
"I had a particular relationship with him because from the
moment of my arrival we talked a lot. I spoke with him....." said
veteran coach Halilhodzic who started to weep before composing himself
enough to continue.
His voice still trembled as he added: "For me, it is perhaps the most
difficult moment of my sporting life. I have known others but in terms
of sport, this has left me completely shocked."
Sala had been at
Nantes since 2015 and had scored 12 league goals this season before
signing a three-and-a-half-year deal with relegation-threatened Cardiff.