French football mourns the death of Pape Diouf

Didier Deschamps and Pape Diouf in 2009. GERARD JULIEN / AFP

Text by: Farid Achache Follow

It is a shower of tributes that swept through social networks and through press releases, after the announcement of the death of Pape Diouf. French football is unanimous: the former president of OM was one of the great figures of the Marseille club.


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His sudden and brutal disappearance deeply saddens me. "Like a lot of French football personalities, Didier Deschamps, the coach of the France team, and former OM coach, expressed his" emotional condolences "to those close to the former journalist, agent and club manager, died at 68 in Senegal after contracting the coronavirus.

[# RIP🙏] The banner in homage to Pape Diouf deployed on a street in Marseille by the MTP 1994 🔵⚪

📸 @ MTP_1994_

Footballogue⭐️⭐️ (@Footballogue) April 1, 2020

" A man of conviction, a man of spirit "

Pape Diouf was " a man of conviction, a man of spirit, passionate about football and its actors ", also welcomes Didier Deschamps, whom Pape Diouf had recruited in Marseille. " Even if our collaboration was brief, I do not forget, of course, that it was he who allowed me to become the Marseille coach in 2009 ", says the coach, who remained on the OM bench until 'in 2012.

Pape Diouf, born in 1951 in Abéché (Chad) where his military father was stationed, arrived in Marseille at 18 years old. Even if he left the Olympian club in 2009, four years after his arrival, he was considered the architect of the team that was to finish champion of France in 2010, under the orders of Deschamps.

His great rival at the time, Jean-Michel Aulas, with whom the verbal contests were sharpened, also paid him a very strong tribute. " Pope was a great president, " wrote the president of Olympique Lyonnais on Twitter. Very efficient, I had a deep respect for him, I associate myself with the grief of all his family and all his friends. "

Few people in the world of football have touched me or we have had an impact like you may have had in my life or in my career you have always been a mentor you have been my first agent

Samir Nasri Official (@ SamNasri19) March 31, 2020

Former journalist in the 1980s, Pape Diouf was then a player agent, notably with players of the caliber of Basile Boli, Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, Grégory Coupet, Didier Drogba and Samir Nasri, among others. The latter wrote on his Instagram account: " Few people in the world of football have touched me or made an impact as you may have had in my life or in my career. You have always been a mentor, you have been my first agent, you have been my president and it is with a heavy heart that I must say goodbye. You left too early, I will never forget you . "

" No one would have been surprised that he became the mayor of Marseille "

Basile Boli, a former Marseille defender, also paid tribute to his former agent on Instagram: “ Pope has been my guardian angel throughout my career, a very fine friend. His unique voice will be forever missed. "

On RFI, Philippe Troussier, coach under the presidency of Pape Diouf, and coach of several African countries retains the memory of " a strong man ". He loved football players and soccer. He was a big brother to me. He was wise, human. He had become a real Marseillais. Nobody would have been surprised if he became the mayor of Marseille, "he said of the first black president of a European football club.

Djibril Cissé also paid tribute to Pape Diouf through his Twitter account. I will always remember our discussion a month before I signed for OM, and even more of the one we had the week after my injury. When Pope calls me and says : "I have only one word, we agreed on your signature at OM, and it is not your injury that will make me change my mind on your qualities and the fact that you are a player made to wear the colors of your club of hearts which is OM ". "

Even the young generation reacted to the disappearance of Pape Diouf like Florian Thauvin, one of the stars of OM today. " He will leave a unique memory in Marseille, " he wrote on Twitter.

Very sad to learn of the disappearance of Pape Diouf ... he will leave a unique memory in Marseille. Thoughts moved for his family and loved ones 🙏🏻🖤

Florian Thauvin (@FlorianThauvin) March 31, 2020

" Pope will remain forever in the hearts of Marseillais and one of the great craftsmen of the history of this club ", said OM in a press release, announcing a tribute to come on its media.

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