Papa Bouba Diop, Senegal's World Cup hero and FA Cup winner has passed away

Former Senegal international,West Ham United and Fulham midfielder Papa Bouba Diop has passed away following a long illness at the age of 42, By Diramakini Reporter.
Diop was a favourite at Fulham, representing the club between 2004 and 2007, making more than 70 league appearances after arriving from Lens, eventually departing for Portsmouth.

He later joined AEK Athens before returning to England to join West Ham, playing 16 times in the league before brief spell with Birmingham City.

Beyond his club efforts,Diop was part of the Teranga Lions side that stunned reigning World Champions France 1-0 in the opening match of the 2002 World Cup, scoring the only goal of the game to secure one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition.

Senegal ultimately reached the quarter-final of the tournament, with Diop going on to score twice in the West Africans’ 3-3 group-stage draw with Uruguay before they were eventually eliminated by Turkey in the final eight.

Papa Bouba Diop made 63 appearances for Senegal in all, scoring 11 times, and that included his nation's first goal at the 2002 World Cup, a treasured moment for many in the African country.

The midfielder spent the best part of a decade in English football following his arrival at Fulham from Racing Club de Lens in 2004, going on to represent Portsmouth, West Ham United and Birmingham City before retiring in 2013. He made a total of 129 Premier League appearances.

He was a member of Harry Redknapp’s FA Cup-winning Pompey team who defeated Cardiff City 1-0 in the 2008 final, being introduced late on for Pedro Mendes in a match settled by Nwankwo Kanu’s 37th-minute goal.

ASC Diaraf graduate Diop was a Swiss champion during his early career with Grasshoppers, having broken into the professional game with Neuchatel Xamax, and then went on to feature for Lens, where he was a Ligue 1 runner-up in 2002.

During his playing career, the 6ft5" Diop was nicknamed 'The Wardrobe' due to his stature, with Manchester United legend Paul Scholes once naming him as one of his trickiest opponents.

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