Diop’ was part of the Senegal team that stunned the world at the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan reaching a historic quarterfinal before elimination by Turkey. He got the only goal during the team’s first game against defending champions, France in the 30th minute and got a brace in the 3-3 draw against Uruguay in the team’s third game making him Senegal’s top scorer at the World Cup.Standing at a towering 6 feet 5 inches, Diop was nicknamed ‘The Wardrobe’ and was well known for playing as a defensive midfielder. He was part of the West Ham 2011/2012 promotion winning squad and went on to play for Fulham, West Ham, Birmingham City and Portsmouth in England.
Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) paid tribute to the player via Twitter handle following news of his death with the caption, ““FIFA is saddened to learn of the passing of Senegal legend Papa Bouba Diop. Once a World Cup hero, always a World Cup hero.”
Diop’s career of nearly two decades began at ASC Diaraf in Dakar before playing in England, France, Switzerland, and Greece. He recorded a total of 261 caps and 26 goals for the various teams as well as a total of 11 goals for Senegal from a total cap of 63 caps from 2001 to 2008.
He won the Swiss Super League for Grasshopper Club Zurich in 2000/2001, FA Cup trophy with Portsmouth in 2007/2008, Greek Cup with AEK Athens in 2010/2011 and a runner up at the African Cup of Nations in 2002.