The football world was thrown further into mourning on Sunday, 29 November, as it was announced that Senegal’s 2002 world cup star, Papa Bouba Diop, had passed at 42.
According reports, the combative midfielder was said to have been ill for some time from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
His death is coming days after Diego Maradona passed away from a heart attack at 60.
Diop won 63 caps for Senegal, scoring 11 goals including his historic world cup strike. Nicknamed the ‘wardrobe’ because of his size and his marking ability, he would be best remembered for the goal that announced Senegal to the world, the goal against France in the opening match of the 2002 world cup.
He played for nine European sides, enjoying a great spell at Fulham FC in 2004, where he played the most professional 76 matches over four seasons. He later joined Portsmouth in 2007 and after a stint with AEK Athens returned to the top flight by joining West Ham in 2011.
Fulham FC paid a tribute to their former player on Twitter;
“we are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away aged 42, rest well wardrobe black heart.
Barthélémy Dias, the mayor of Mermoz Sacré-Cœur in Senegal paid tribute to Bouba Diop on Sunday, writing on social media. ”thank you GAINDÉ for making us dream so much.
“Your name will forever be engraved in the football hall of fame alongside great legends.
“May God welcome you in his Paradise.