By Simdi Gloria:-
An ex-midfielder, Papa Bouba Diop, who has represented Senegal more than 60 times and played for several European football clubs, died after a long battle of illness at the age of 42.
Scored the first goal of the 2002 World Cup held in Japan and South Korea when Senegal shocked reigning champions France by beating them 1-0 in the opening game.
The Senegal football federation has confirmed Diop’s death.
Former French club Lens said it learned the news with “great sadness” and offered condolences to his family.
West London side Fulham, another former club, said they were “devastated” to hear of his death.
FIFA, through its World Cup Twitter account, said it was “saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop”.
“Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.”
According to British media reports, Diop was reported to have had Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Fulham and Portsmouth(both former club of Diop) paid tribute on Twitter to the player nicknamed “The Wardrobe”.
Former Portsmouth midfielder Chris Kamara said in a tweet, “Didn’t know he’d been ill … he’s been taken too young,”
“We used to have a good chuckle together about me calling him ‘The Man Mountain Himself’. RIP Papa.”