Ex-Cote d'Ivoire defender Steve Gohouri found dead

The body found in the River Rhine near Dusseldorf has been confirmed as that of missing former Wigan defender Steve Gohouri.

The 34-year-old had been unaccounted for since attending a Christmas party for his current fourth division German side TSV Steinbach, after which he was set to visit family in Paris. However, after the former Cote d'Ivoire international was not heard from, his family filed a missing person's report.

On Saturday, police confirmed a body had been recovered in Krefeld, to the north-west of Dusseldorf, which was subsequently identified as Gohouri.

A statement from TSV Steinbach read: "TSV Steinbach football club mourns its player Steve Gohouri. It is this afternoon (Saturday) certain that Steve Gohouri has died at the age of 34 years. This was confirmed by the Dusseldorf Police to TSV Steinbach. All managers, players, coaches and assistants at TSV Steinbach are very concerned about the death of Steve Gohouri. Our thoughts in these difficult hours are with his family."

Dusseldorf Police confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the events of Gohouri's death.

A statement read: "On December 31, 2015, the corpse of initially an unknown man was found in the Rhine near Krefeld. In the meantime, the dead could be identified as the 34-year-old who had been reported missing on December 12, 2015. An autopsy showed no evidence of violence by third parties."

Gohouri, who was in the youth system at Paris St Germain, joined Wigan from Borussia Monchengladbach in Jan. 2010, going on to make 42 appearances for the Latics during their spell in the Barclays Premier League. The defender, part of the Cote d'Ivoire 2010 World Cup squad, joined Maccabi Tel Aviv in the summer of 2012, and also had a spell at Skoda Xanthi in Greece before looking to finish his playing career in Germany.

Wigan posted a message of condolence on the club's official Twitter feed, which read: "We are saddened to hear reports of our former defender Steve Gohouri passing away. Our thoughts are with his family."

Didier Drogba and Gervinho expressed their grief on social media among others: