'Deeply shocked': Football world rocked by devastating tragedy

·3-min read
Pictured here, Uruguayan footballer Franco Acosta tragically died at the age of 25.
Franco Acosta was found dead in his native Uruguay, aged 25. Pic: Twitter

The disappearance of 25-year-old former Villareal player, Franco Acosta, has ended in tragedy after his body was discovered in Uruguay.

Acosta was found two days after going missing while trying to cross a river in his native Uruguay.

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The football star's brother raised the alarm on Saturday and a search was launched after he disappeared in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

The Uruguayan Navy was enlisted to lead the search and after finding no signs of the player on the first day, their efforts were resumed on the Sunday.

Rescue officials, pictured here searching the Pando River for Franco Acosta's body.
Franco Acosta's body was found in the Pando River in Uruguay. Image: Twitter

Sadly, his body was found on Monday near the spot in the Pando River, where he was last seen celebrating his 25th birthday with friends and family.

Acosta was swept away while trying to cross the river in his homeland, where he returned after a stint with Villareal in Spain.

The young striker played for five years for Villareal B between 2015 and 2020 (including a loan stint at Racing Santander), before returning to Uruguay.

Acosta was also a member of Uruguay's U/17 and U/20 teams, but never managed to crack into the senior national side.

Franco Acosta is seen here during his time with Uruguays' U/20 national side.
Acosta made 14 appearances for Uruguays' U/20 national side. Pic: Getty

Football world devastated by tragedy

His death has led to an outpouring of tributes on social media, with the Uruguayan FA and Villareal among those to pay their respects.

“We sincerely regret the death of the Uruguayan footballer Franco Acosta, who was a member of the national team’s youth squads," the Uruguayan FA said in a statement.

“Our condolences to his relatives, friends and teammates.”

Villareal's official Twitter account posted a picture of the footballer along with a message reading: "Deeply shocked and saddened by your passing. We will always remember you, Franco. RIP."

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