A harrowing recording of what is thought to be Argentinian footballer Emiliano Sala's final moments from aboard his doomed flight has emerged in the wake of his disappearance.

Sala, who was recently signed by Premier League club Cardiff City from FC Nantes for $29 million, has been missing after boarding a plane to the Welsh city after his flight dropped off the radar on Monday night just an hour after taking off.

Sala, 28, and 60-year-old pilot David Ibbotson are both presumed dead with rescue chiefs saying there is "no chance" of finding the men alive.

Several news outlets reported on Thursday that Sala had sent a voice message to a group of friends on WhatsApp where he admitted his fears of being aboard a plane that looked like "it is about to fall apart".


In the recording, in Spanish, Sala says: "Hello, little brothers, how are you crazy people? Brother, I'm really tired, I was here in Nantes doing things, things, things, things and things, and it never stops, it never stops, it never stops."

Sala's plane could have been
Sala's plane could have been "brought down by deadly ice on the wings", say experts. Photo / Instagram, Getty Images

The single-engine of the Piper PA-46 can clearly be heard in the background as Sala says "I'm scared".

"I'm here on a plane that looks like it's going to fall apart, and I'm going to Cardiff, crazy, tomorrow we already start, and in the afternoon we start training, boys, in my new team."

He later sent another message saying: "How are you guys, all good? If you do not have any more news from me in an hour and a half, I don't know if they need to send someone to find me... I'm scared!"

The striker had travelled in the same plane from Cardiff back to France on Sunday and complained about that flight being "bumpy".

Tributes are left to new Cardiff City FC signing Emiliano Sala near the Fred Keenor statue at the Cardiff City Stadium. Photo / Getty Images
Tributes are left to new Cardiff City FC signing Emiliano Sala near the Fred Keenor statue at the Cardiff City Stadium. Photo / Getty Images

Meanwhile, new details and theories have emerged about the hours leading up to the pair's disappearance.

An aviation expert told The Sun a build-up of deadly ice on the wings likely brought down the plane.

"There are reports that the footballer was texting saying the aircraft is shaking and breaking up are classic signs of icing on the wings," the unnamed expert said.


"The pilot is most likely wrestling with a stall at 2,300ft.

"It is likely, though, that the aircraft hit the water in one piece otherwise debris would have quickly been found."

This comes after Ibbotson had earlier admitted to friends he was "a bit rusty" at the controls before the plane vanished.

Ibbotson was hired to take Sala back to Cardiff after the footballer had returned to Nantes to say goodbye to his former teammates.

The Sun reported Ibbotson, a married father of four from Scunthorpe with over 20 years flying experience, attempted to take off four times before finally getting airborne.

After days of extensive searching, a rescuer has told the BBC there is "no hope" of finding the pair alive.

As part of rescue efforts, police have been looking at satellite images and mobile phone data.

The extensive efforts to recover the pair have involved a number of aircraft and boats scouring a wide area.

Channel Islands Air Search chief officer John Fitzgerald told the BBC "even the most fit person" would only survive for a few hours in the water.

"Sadly, I really don't think, personally, there is any hope. At this time of year the conditions out there are pretty horrendous if you are actually in the water," Fitzgerald said.

Guernsey Police said they were working on four possibilities - one of which being that the pair landed on the water but were able to get to a life raft that was on board.

Police said floating objects had been found in the area the plane was thought to have gone down, but were unable to confirm if they were parts of an aircraft or not, with no signs of the two on board.