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Senegal Channels Late Legend Papa Bouba Diop by Adding to His World Cup Legacy

Before kick-off Kalidou Koulibaly had written the number 19 in black marker on his yellow captain’s armband in tribute to Papa Bouba Diop, who had died two years ago today at the age of 42. It was Diop who, wearing the number 19 shirt, had scored the most famous goal in Senegal’s history, poking in the winner as Senegal beat France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup, its first ever match in the tournament. But it was what Koulibaly did after 70 minutes that stands as the greater tribute.

Koulibaly’s volley to restore Senegal’s lead against Ecuador in its 2–1 win is not quite of the same significance as Diop’s goal, but it is certainly in the pantheon.