Senegalese football player, Papa Bouba Diop, passed away following a long illness this past Sunday. He was just 42.
Former Senegalese midfielder Papa Bouba Diop passed away this past Sunday following a long illness, according to Al Jazeera. Details of his illness have not been disclosed to the public. At the age of just 42, the football world is now mourning the loss of a spectacular sportsman who not only represented Senegal on numerous occasions but also brought home numerous victories for his home country. Tributes from public figures, football fans and various international football bodies have been pouring in on social media since news of Diop's passing emerged.
Nicknamed "The Wardrobe" for his stature, Diop played for a number of European teams during his career namely West Ham United, Portsmouth, Birmingham City and Fulham. He is perhaps best known for his historic goal during the 2002 World Cup where Senegal, for whom it was their first-ever World Cup game, beat France to advance to the quarter-finals. If ever there was a game where fans were (secretly) rooting for the underdog that was the Senegalese team, it was certainly that one. Overall, Diop went on to represent Senegal over 60 times and did so in a manner that saw him being "respected by all for his courtesy and his talent," according to President of Senegal, Macky Sall.
FIFA confirmed the passing of the athlete in a tweet saying, "FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero."
Rest in Power indeed to Diop, a true World Cup Hero.
Below are some of the tributes which have been shared on social media:
Le décès de Pape Bouba Diop est une grande perte pour le Sénégal. Je rends hommage à un bon footballeur, respecté d… https://t.co/mPYylxvELT— Macky Sall (@Macky Sall) 1606675707.0
FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World… https://t.co/82OvScqsKo— FIFA World Cup (@FIFA World Cup) 1606673169.0
For you, Wardrobe. RIP Papa Bouba Diop. 🖤 https://t.co/f0WHEVvhka— Fulham Football Club (@Fulham Football Club) 1606678633.0
The Premier League is saddened to hear of the passing of former Fulham and Portsmouth midfielder Papa Bouba Diop O… https://t.co/AzYyZjgXhJ— Premier League (@Premier League) 1606678743.0
So so sad to hear of the news about the passing of Papa Bouba Diop, fantastic player and human being. It was a joy… https://t.co/ezXGDlDjUX— Sol Campbell (@Sol Campbell) 1606679731.0
Papa Bouba Diop appreciation tweet. Africa mourns. Rest in peace.— Pwani Tribune🌴 (@Pwani Tribune🌴) 1606694588.0
How terribly sad. Taken so young. RIP Papa Bouba Diop. https://t.co/5QgGgedMSM— Gary Lineker (@Gary Lineker) 1606672475.0
Papa Bouba Diop who scored the 1st goal of Korea-Japan 2002 as Senegal stunned defending champions France dies aged… https://t.co/2lM3DNU0HH— E (@E) 1606670683.0