Papa Bouba Diop scored the shock winner against defending champions France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup
Papa Bouba Diop, the former Senegalese midfielder who scored the first goal of the 2002 World Cup against France, has died at the age of 42, the world association Fifa announced on Sunday.
« Fifa is saddened by the death of the Senegalese legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero, « said the world association in a statement on Twitter.
The world government did not release details, but several media reports said Diop died after a long illness.
Diop’s melee goal after 30 minutes against France in the opening game of the 2002 finals secured the World Cup debutants a 1-0 win in one of the tournament’s surprises. France went out without a goal in the group stage.
Diop scored two more goals in Senegal’s 3-3 draw against Uruguay in the group stage and became the top scorer in the 2002 finals when they reached the quarter-finals. The defensive midfielder made 63 international appearances and scored 11 goals.
Diop began his club career at Senegalese club ASC Diaraf before playing for Vevey, Neuchâtel Xamax and Grasshoppers in Switzerland before moving to French club Lens in 2002.
A move to the Premier League Fulham followed and he spent three years at the West London club before moving to Portsmouth where he was part of the team that won the FA Cup in 2008.
He also had brief stints at West Ham United and Birmingham City before retiring from the game seven years ago.
« I didn’t know he was sick. . . He was taken too young, « Kamara tweeted. « We used to have a good laugh that I called him ‘The Man Mountain Himself’ RIP Papa. «
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World news – GB – Papa Bouba Diop, the former Senegalese midfielder, dies at the age of 42
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