November 30 – Former Senegal international midfielder Papa Bouba Diop, who scored the goal that produced one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history, has died aged just 42.
Diop will always be remembered for scoring the first goal of the 2002 World Cup finals which beat then reigning champions France 1-0 on his country’s debut in the tournament.
He netted two more in Senegal’s 3-3 draw with Uruguay in the group stage to become their top scorer at the tournament as they went on to reach the quarter-finals, matching the best achievement by an African team at any World Cup before or since.
Diop, who was nicknamed ‘The Wardrobe’, was also part of the team that lost to Cameroon on penalties in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations final.
“Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero,” FIFA said in a tribute on Twitter.
Diop made 63 appearances for Senegal from 2001-08 and played for clubs in Switzerland, France, Greece and four in England: Fulham, Portsmouth (for whom he won the FA cup in 2008), West Ham and Birmingham.
Liverpool’s Senegalese forward Sadio Mane wrote of Diop on his official Twitter page: “It was with a broken heart that we learned of your departure. Know that you will remain in our hearts forever, even if you left without saying goodbye to us.”
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