Former Newcastle midfielder, Cheick Tiote has been confirmed dead after collapsing during training at his current club Beijing Enterprises, who he joined in February.
His spokesman Emanuele Palladino confirmed the news in a statement released on Monday, which triggered a flurry of tributes on social media from footballers who played alongside Tiote in England.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez also paid tribute to Tiote, praising the Ivorian’s professionalism and character during the pair’s time together at St James’ Park.
“It is with great sadness that I have this afternoon learned of Cheick’s death,” Benitez told Newcastle’s official website.
“In all the time that I have known him, he 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.”