The Cardiff City striker’s sister Romina shared the poignant image of rescue dog Nala staring out into the distance as if patiently awaiting the footballer’s return. The caption reads: “Nala is waiting for you, too.” The Argentinian bought Nala to keep him company soon after he moved to France to play for Nantes in 2015. He is understood to have placed the dog in kennels and started the process of moving her over to Wales.
The 28-year-old is believed to have died when the plane in which he was flying to Cardiff crashed in the English Channel.
A second sea search was launched on Sunday, with rescuers finding the wreckage within hours.
Underwater video footage shows a body in the wreckage, but the identity of the body is still not known.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the footage was filmed using an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) which was surveying the area in which the plane was found, north of Guernsey.
Analysis of the footage by AAIB investigators confirmed the wreckage was of the missing Piper Malibu aircraft which disappeared in poor weather near Guernsey on January 21 with Sala and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, aboard.
The AAIB said in a statement: “The ROV carried out a further search of the area overnight, but did not identify any additional pieces of wreckage.
“Tragically, in video footage from the ROV, one occupant is visible amidst the wreckage.”
The image shows the rear left side of the fuselage, including part of the aircraft registration, N264DB.
A decision has yet to be taken on whether to raise the wreckage to the surface.
The statement said: “The AAIB is now considering the next steps, in consultation with the families of the pilot and passenger, and the police.”
Sala’s father has spoken of his anguish and disbelief after the wreckage was discovered.
Speaking at his home in Argentina, Horacio Sala said: “I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate.”