Papa Bouba Diop, a former midfielder who represented Senegal more than 60 times and played for several European clubs has died at the age of 42after reports emerging that he had an illness. Diop scored the first goal at the world cup of 2002 that took place in Japan and South Korea when Sengal shocked the 1998 world champions France by edging them 1-0 in the opening game.
Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, called Diop’s death ‟a great loss for Senegal” while Liverpool’s Senegal midfielder, Sadio Mane wrote on his instagram: ‟Pape Bouba, it was with a broken heart that we learned of your (death). Know that you will forever remain in our hearts even if you left without saying goodbye to us.”
His former club Lens and country federation Senegal said that they both learned the news with‟ great sadness” and offered condolences to his family while on the other side, former sides Portsmouth and West London side Fulham were all devasted to hear the news and paid tribute to the player who they nicknamed The wardrobe .
FIFA , the world’s head of all football federations came out with a short but precise message for the fallen hero on their twitter handle saying ‟We are saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal Legend Papa Bouba Diop”. ‟Once a World cup hero, always a world cup hero”.
The versatile holding and defensive midfielder put up a total of 63 appearances for his country scoring 11 goals. He had been reported to have had Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease as reported by various British media platforms like The Mirror.
LETS TAKE A LOOKBACK ON HIS PLAYING CLUB CAREER.
Diop started his club career at Senegalese side ASC Diaraf before spells in Switzerland at Vevey, Neuchechatel Xamax and Grasshoppers before joining French side Lens in 2002.
A move to Fulham followed and he spent three years at the club before a transfer to Portsmouth, where he was part of the team that won the 2007-08 FA Cup. He also had short spells at West Ham United and Birmingham City before retiring from playing in 2013.