Footballer dies at 25 after body found in creek

The body of former Villarreal and Racing Santander striker Franco Acosta has been found in a creek two days following his disappearance.

On Saturday afternoon, Acosta tried to swim across the Arroyo Pando creek in the Uruguay region of Canelones, with his brother.

His brother raised the alarm when the 25-year-old did not turn up and the Uruguayan navy confirmed Acosta’s body was recovered on Monday.

Acosta, 25, began his playing career at Fenix and represented Uruguay at youth level. He played for the Under-20 squad at the 2015 World Cup, which proved to be a launchpad for him signing for Villarreal in Spain that year.

He spent six months on loan at Racing Santander before returning to Uruguay in 2018 to play for Boston River and then Plaza Colonia. Acosta played for Uruguay second division club Atenas San Carlos last season.

The Uruguay Football Federation (AUF) said in a statement: “With profound sadness we lament the death of Franco Acosta, who played for Uruguay’s national team. Our condolences to his family, friends and teammates.”

Villarreal posted a tribute to Acosta and wrote on social media: “Deeply shocked and dejected by your loss. We will always remember you, Franco.”