Former Newcastle United midfielder and Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote died on Monday. Reports say that Tiote, who was playing for Chinese club Beijing Enterprises, collapsed in training. He was 30 years old. Tiote’s agent Emanuele Palladino made the announcement of the death. He also said, according to AP, that other information could not be divulged. “We request that his family’s privacy be respected at this difficult time. We ask for all your prayers,” he said.
Tiote made 161 appearances for Newcastle. His solitary goal for the club came against Arsenal in 2011 when Newcastle came from 4-0 down to level the match 4-4. Tiote scored the equaliser from a brilliant volley. He has also made 52 appearances for Ivory Coast and was part of the victorious African Cup of Nations team in 2015, although he missed the final due to injury.
Tributes have been puring in for Tiote ever since his death was announced. Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez, who Tiote had worked with last season, said that the midfielder was a “true professional, dedicated and, above all, a great man.” “Our hearts go out to his family and friends at such a sad time,” he said in his website. According to the Guardian, Tiote’s wife was also expecting a child this week.
Manchester City and Belgium captain Vincent Kompany, who played with Tiote when the two were at Belgian club Anderlecht, said in a tweet that he was “speechless and so incredibly sad.” “Cheick Tioté was one of the nicest and toughest teammates I have ever had. Rest in peace brother,” he said.