Former Fulham, Portsmouth and Senegal midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has died at the age of 42 following a long battle with illness. Diop was a World Cup quarter-finalist in 2002 with Senegal and helped Portsmouth to win the FA Cup in 2008 under Harry Redknapp.
Papa Bouba Diop Dies Aged 42
After starting his career in his native Senegal, Diop’s break in Europe came with Swiss side Neuchatel Xamax before he moved onto Grasshoppers. A two-year spell in France followed with Lens before his move to England, signing for Fulham in 2004.
Diop spent three years at Craven Cottage, winning their Player of the Season award in his first campaign and being nominated for it again in the season after.
He was appointed as captain under the management of Chris Coleman but a series of injuries led to this instead being handed to Danny Murphy.
Diop was then allowed to leave the club at the end of his third season, signing for Portsmouth on deadline day after totalling 84 games and nine goals for the club.
After the club fell into administration, Diop was sold to Greek side AEK Athens, but he returned to England in 2011 after signing for West Ham United.
He finished his career on a short-term contract with Birmingham City, but left after financial difficulties meant they could not extend the deal further.
World Cup Hero
As well as being a popular figure during his club career, Papa Bouba Diop is considered a hero in his home country, mainly due to his part in Senegal reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2002.
Reaching that stage may not have been possible, either, were it not for Diop scoring the opening goal of the tournament in the 1-0 win over France, who were then the reigning world champions.
Among Diop’s many accomplishments, he will always be remembered for scoring the opening goal of the 2002 World Cup. RIP, Papa Bouba Diop.pic.twitter.com/O2tG9xj5J7
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 29, 2020
He also scored twice in the 3-3 draw against Uruguay at the same tournament.
For you, Wardrobe.
RIP Papa Bouba Diop. 🖤 pic.twitter.com/f0WHEVvhka
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) November 29, 2020
💙 We’re devastated to hear reports that FA Cup winner Papa Bouba Diop has passed away after a long illness, aged just 42
— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) November 29, 2020
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 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2S1mwMR17c
— West Ham United (@WestHam) November 29, 2020
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. 💙 pic.twitter.com/OAXuJScDMw
— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) November 29, 2020