Senegal’s World Cup Hero Papa Bouba Diop Passes Away at 42

"Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.”

Papa Bouba Diop, with 65 caps for Senegal National Team, famous for his winning goal against France in the opening match of the 2002 FIFA World Cup was reported dead on Sunday, 29th November 2020. He was 42 years old and had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease. 

In addition to his stunning winner against the defending champions, Bouba Diop was crucial in Senegal’s run till the quarterfinals of the world cup that year. 

“FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.” tweeted the official FIFA World Cup page on Sunday.


Nicknamed ‘The Wardrobe’ by Manchester United legend Paul Scholes for the way he towered over the pitch at 6’5″, Bouba Diop played as a midfielder for Fulham between 2004 and 2007.