AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
FOOTBALL fans, colleagues and clubs that he played have paid warm tributes to retired Senegalese international football star Papa Bouba Diop who has passed on after a short illness.
Diop (42) retired from international football after 63 appearances and is remembered for, among others, his special goal that sunk France 1-0 in their opening World Cup game in 2002.
In a special message, football world governing body FIFA, said: “So too did world governing body FIFA, who declared: “FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.”
Diop, a tough midfielder who scored 11 goals for his country, had a sterling career in France and England. He joined Fulham from Lens in 2004. Three years later he relocated to Portsmouth. He left England to join Greek club AEK Athens.
In 2011 he returned to England, where he turned out of West Ham. before he left them for Birmingham City, where he played until 2013.
Some of his former clubs paid tribute to him:
Former club Fulham said: “We are devastated to hear news reports this evening that Papa Bouba Diop has passed away, aged 42. Rest well, Wardrobe”.
RC Lens said: “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. We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”