Papa Bouba Diop dies at age 42 after battling unknown illness

Papa Bouba Diop dies at age 42 after battling unknown illness

- Papa Bouba Diop, former Senegal football star, has passed away at the age of 42

- Diop scored the stunner against France in Senegal's opening group game at the 2002 World Cup

- Diop was said to have battled an unknown illness for sometime before eventually passing on

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African football lovers have been thrown into mourning as former Senegal star Papa Bouba Diop has been confirmed dead. The defender who also doubled as a defensive midfielder was said to have died at the age of 42 after battling with a long time illness.

He scored the only goal that helped the Teranga Lions stun the current world champions France at the 2002 edition of the FIFA World Cup - one of the biggest shocks in football as reported by Goal.

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Senegal reached the quarterfinals of the competition as Diop went ahead to score twice. His side had a 3-3 group-stage draw with Uruguay before being dumped out by Turkey in the final eight.

Papa Bouba Diop, former Senegal star, dies at age 42 after battling unknown illness
Papa Bouba Diop during an international friendly against Ghana. PA Images via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

He won 65 caps for the West African country during his seven-year reign with the national team and featured at four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. Diop was part of his team that won a silver medal at the 2002 AFCON championship in Mali two decades ago.

During his reign in English football, he won the English FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008, while winning silverware in Switzerland and Greece. He hanged his professional boots in 2013 having spent just one season with Birmingham City. earlier reported that Argentine footballer Diego Maradona passed away at the age of 60.

The legend left Olivos Clinic in an ambulance on Wednesday evening 11 November, after a successful operation. It remained unclear if the ex-footie fully recovered as it came just days after his lawyer, Matias Morla, painted a grim picture of the ex-footballers health.

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Morla was quoted saying it is a miracle the World Cup winner was alive, divulging the blood clot could have easily "cost him his life."

He said: “Diego experienced perhaps the most difficult moment of his life. I think the fact the brain bleed was discovered when it was is a miracle because it could have cost him his life."

Morla's assertions were in complete contrast with those of the doctors who described the surgery on the former Napoli and Barcelona star as "routine."

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