THE body recovered from a plane wreckage in the English Channel and brought to Dorset has been identified as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.

Confirmation was released by Dorset Police after HM Coroner for Dorset had made initial investigations.

The body of the 28-year-old Cardiff City striker had been brought to Dorset yesterday and taken on a stretcher to an ambulance, before being transferred to the coroner.

Bournemouth Echo:

A view of flowers and scarves placed outside Cardiff City Stadium in tribute to Emiliano Sala 

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: "The body brought to Portland Port today, Thursday 7 February 2019, has been formally identified by HM Coroner for Dorset as that of professional footballer Emiliano Sala.

"The families of Mr Sala and the pilot David Ibbotson have been updated with this news and will continue to be supported by specially-trained family liaison officers. Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.

"HM Coroner will continue to investigate the circumstances of this death supported by Dorset Police.

"On Monday 21 January 2019 a plane carrying both men was flying from Nantes to Cardiff when it lost contact with Air Traffic Control, north of Guernsey.

"Sadly a search and rescue operation was unsuccessful in locating the plane and the two occupants.

"Subsequently AAIB and privately funded search teams were deployed to the relevant area.

"Using specialist equipment the teams succeeded in locating and identifying the plane and recovering Mr Sala's body."

The aircraft remains 67 metres underwater 21 miles off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel.

The remains of the plane were discovered on Sunday evening. It had disappeared on January 21 as it travelled from Nantes in France to Cardiff.