Senegal World Cup hero Papa Bouba Diop dies at 42

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Former Senegal international, Papa Bouba Diop has died aged 42.

Diop was part of the squad that rejuvenated soccer in Senegal, leading the West African country to their first world cup in 2002 alongside former African Footballer of the Year, El-Hadj Diouf. He eventually scored the winner in the tournament’s opening game as his country beat the then defending champions France 1-0.

Diop played 129 Premier League games during his stints with West Ham United and Birmingham City.

Diop dies after battling Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

The Terranga Lions then set a record to be another debutant that reached the quarter-finals. Diop scored twice more in the 3-3 group-stage draw with Uruguay before losing on penalties.

He played four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, which included when Senegal were runners-up in 2002 against Argentina. He retired in 2013.

Reaction to the passage of Papa Bouba Diop

Reacting to his death, FIFA described him as a hero.

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“Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero,” Fifa posted on social media.

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

Having helped Portsmouth, who were managed by Harry Redknapp at the time to win the FA Cup in 2008, the tactician described him as a giant.

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“He was such a wonderful character.He was fantastic for me, a great character, always happy and always had a smile on his face. He was a giant of a man.

“He had no aggression in him. He looked aggressive on the pitch because he was so big, but there was nothing nasty about him.My thoughts are with all his family.” Redknapp told BBC Radio 5 Live.

It was gathered that he passed away aged after a battle with illness. The Mirror of UK reported that Diop had been suffering from a long-time illness, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

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