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Papa Diop, Senegal football legend, dies at 42

Papa Diop, Senegal football legend, dies at 42
November 29
22:09 2020

Papa Bouba Diop, former Senegal midfielder and World Cup hero, has passed away after battling a long term illness.


The former Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Birmingham star, who scored the only goal to defeat France in Senegal’s first World Cup match in 2002, died at the age of 42.

FIFA, the world football governing body, broke the news of Diop’s passing on its Twitter page on Sunday.

“FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero,” it wrote.


“Among Diop’s many accomplishments, he will always be remembered for scoring the opening goal of the 2002 World Cup. RIP, Papa Bouba Diop.”

Diop represented his country in 63 games and scored 11 goals in a seven-year international career.

He also played 147 matches in the English Premier League (EPL) over an eight-year period. Diop was popular among football fans who nicknamed him ‘Wardrobe’.


Tributes have begun to flood in for the late football star as words of his death spread.

We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe,” Fulham wrote.

“Everyone at West Ham United is saddened to learn of the passing of Papa Bouba Diop at just 42. A part of our 2011/12 promotion-winning squad, he’ll always be a part of our Club. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Rest in peace, Papa,” West Ham wrote.

On its part, Portsmouth wrote: “We’re devastated to hear reports that FA Cup winner Papa Bouba Diop has passed away after a long illness, aged just 42 Rest in peace, The Wardrobe.”

See more tributes below:


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