Former Senegal, Fulham and Portsmouth midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died aged 42.
Bouba Diop made 129 appearances in the Premier League and also had spells in England with West Ham and Birmingham City.
He played for Senegal at the 2002 World Cup and scored the winner in the tournament’s opening game as his country beat France 1-0.
“Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero,” Fifa posted on social media.
A post on Fulham’s Twitter account said the club was “devastated” and, using Bouba Diop’s nickname, added: “Rest well, Wardrobe.”
WHO IS PAPA BOUBA DIOP?
Papa Bouba Diop (28 January 1978 – 29 November 2020) was a Senegalese professional footballer. His preferred position was defensive midfield but he could also play as a centre back, where he previously played at Lens. Diop was considered a strong and aggressive player.
His playing style and ability drew comparisons to Patrick Vieira. Diop’s second of a total of 11 international goals for Senegal came in a 1–0 defeat of then-world champions France in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, in Senegal’s first ever match at the FIFA World Cup.
Bouba Diop played for RC Lens, Fulham, Portsmouth, AEK Athens, West Ham United, Birmingham City, amongst others
We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42.
Rest well, Wardrobe �
FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop.
Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.
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 ❤️
We are devastated to learn of the passing of former player Papa Bouba Diop at the age of 42.
Our thoughts are with Papa’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time. �
� 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 ��
It is with great sadness that the Racing Club de Lens has just learned of the disappearance of its former player Papa Bouba #Diop, at the age of 42 years. We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones. �❤️� #LensoisPourToujours #rclens
We send you all our thoughts in this painful time and send our sincere condolences to his family and loved ones �
Papa Bouba Diop scored Senegal’s first World Cup goal against then holders, France.
Senegal were pitched in Group A against France, Denmark and Uruguay.