Papa Bouba Diop has died at the age of 42, according to reports. Canal+ say the former Fulham and Portsmouth midfielder has passed away following a long illness.
Diop also represented West Ham and Birmingham in England, as well as winning 63 caps for his country Senegal.
Diop retired from professional football in 2013 after leaving Birmingham.
He started his career at Senegalese club ASC Diaraf in 1996 and had spells in Switzerland with Vevey, Neuchatel Xamax and Grasshoppers.
Diop moved to France to play for Lens in 2002 before he joined Fulham in 2004.
He spent three years at Craven Cottage, scoring nine goals in 84 appearances, before his switch to Portsmouth in 2007.
He was part of the Pompey side that won the 2008 FA Cup, coming on as a 78th minute substitute in the 1-0 win over Cardiff.
Diop played 72 times for Portsmouth before leaving to join AEK Athens.
He only had a brief spell at AEK between 2010 and 2011 before moving back to England with West Ham in 2011.
Diop’s international career began in 2001 and he played for his country at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.
He will be remembered for scoring the goal to beat defending champions France 1-0 in the first game of the tournament.
Tributes have flooded in for the former midfielder.
Lens posted a message on their Twitter account shortly after the news of Diop’s death.
The tweet read: “It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens has just learned of the disappearance of its former player Papa Bouba Diop, at the age of 42.
“We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones.”
Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “How terribly sad. Taken so young. RIP Papa Bouba Diop.”