Papa Bouba Diop, the man who scored the winner in the famous win Senegal recorded against France, is dead. France came to the 2002 world Cup in Korea/Japan as a favorite and defending Champions. As a result, it was surprising when they came stuck against a youthful Senegalese side. A side that parades the likes of Bouba Diop, El Hadji Diouf, Aliou Cisse, and others. At the time, Senegal was playing in their first-ever world cup.
Against all odds, they defeated The French team that has the likes of Thiery Henry, Trezeguet, and most of the team that won the world cup in France 98. Today, that man who notched in the goal that fetched the 1-0 win is dead.
Aged 42, Bouba Diop played for a host of European clubs, including Lens Rc of France, Portsmouth, and Fulham in England. Consequently, Diop made 129 appearances in Premier Lague in his spells with Fulham, Portsmouth, Birmingham City, and West Ham. In the process, he won the FA Cup with Portsmouth. Harry Redknapp managed the team at the time. While speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, Redknapp said: ” He was such a wonderful character” Kanu Nwankwo of Nigeria scored the only goal of the match that fetched the trophy in 2008.
“Once a world Cup hero, always a world Cup hero” is what Fifa posted on its website in their tribute to the fallen Senegalese Hero.
Papa Bouba Diop has stints with many clubs in Europe. He played for clubs like Grasshoppers in Zurich and AEK Athens in Greece. In general, he was a great athlete, and the tributes have continued pouring in.
In the meantime, unconfirmed reports have it that the former Premier League star died of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease-related symptoms. The sickness has disturbed the Senegalese for some time now. Most of the clubs’ World Cup he played for in the past have come out to pay tribute to the man on social media. Leading in the tribute is RC Lens, who wrote on their official Twitter account thus:-
“It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens has just learned of the disappearance of its former player Papa Bouba Diop, at the age of 42”.
Diop made 63 appearances for the Senegalese team scoring 11 goals. Altogether, he played at four African Nations cup tournaments. It includes the tournament in 2002 when Senegal was runners up to Cameroon. Diop retired from the National team in 2013.
May his soul rest in Peace.