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Papa Bouba Diop is dead, goodbye to the Senegal midfielder hero of the 2002 World Cup – News i

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a truly unfortunate year this 2020. The world of sport, in this case still football, in mourning for the death of Pope Bouba Diop, the hero of Senegal at the 2002 Japanese-Korean World Cup. The midfielder, who died in Paris at 42 (he would have turned 43 on 28 January next), was the author of the goal that struck France – reigning champion – in the match inaugural of the world championship (May 31st). A historic event because for his national team it was the first goal in a World Cup. From what is learned, Bouba Diop had been ill for some time and gave up after a long struggle.

Impossible to forget his joy after that feat. A sort of redemption of a people, an indelible image that can never be erased. Bouba Diop kicked off the incredible ride of the Senegal at that World Cup. First the goal with France, then the draw with Denmark, the brace in the 3-3 against Uruguay and the qualification for the round of 16. With so much success against Sweden (1-2) and the passage to the quarterfinals, 12 years after Cameroon, that the same goal – the first African team to go so far – reached him at the World Cup in Italy 90. Only Turkey, with a golden goal by Mansiz, stopped the Senegal race of coach Bruno Metsu (who died in 2013 of colon cancer).

That remains a team that has entered the hearts of fans from all over the world. An example of redemption that occurred thanks to football and Bouba Diop was the best interpreter. After that feat, Bouba Diop even received two votes in the 2002 edition of the Ballon d’Or, won by Ronaldo the Phenomenon. The midfielder of Senegal will remain one of the main faces until 2008, the year of his farewell to the national team. He retired from football on January 17, 2013 after a very short experience in the Championship, the English Serie B, with the Birmingham City shirt. But first Bouba Diop played with Neuchtel, Grasshoppers, Fulham, Portsmouth, Aek Athens and West Ham.

November 30, 2020 (change November 30, 2020 | 10:27)

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