Papa Bouba Diop: Former Fulham and Portsmouth Midfielder Dies Aged 42

Papa Bouba Diop

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

Playing Career

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.

The midfielder made his debut for the club in a goalless draw against Liverpool and went on to put in an excellent performance in the FA Cup final against Cardiff City, which Pompey won 1-0.

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.


He also scored twice in the 3-3 draw against Uruguay at the same tournament.








Main Photo

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