John Chukwudi Utaka has paid a touching tribute to his friend and former Collegue, Late Papa Bouba Diop.

Papa Bouba Diop aged 42, passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness.

Utaka and Diop both played in the Champions League with Racing Club de Lens in 2002, with AC Milan, Deportivo La Coruna and Bayern Munich all in in Group G.

They later reunited in Portsmouth with the Senegalese spending three seasons at Fratton Park, where they won the FA Cup in 2008.

The Former Super Eagles forward got emotional in an exclusive talk with OJBSPORT; relishing his days with the late Senegalese star. — “I am not doing well, Papa Bouba Diop was not only my teammate, he was my friend”.

“This is so sad, he was an extremely good human being with a good heart. I don’t event know what to say or how to put it”. Utaka concluded.

Papa Bouba Dioup scored the first goal of Korea/Japan 2002 World Cup when Senegal stunned the defending champions France at the Seoul World Cup stadium in South Korea.

FIFA paid tribute to Pape Dioup on Twitter, as did several players and former clubs.

Senegalese President Macky Sall also paid tribute to him: “The death of Papa Bouba Diop is a great loss for Senegal. I pay tribute to a good footballer, respected by all for his courtesy and his talent, proudly reminding us of the Lions’ saga of 2002. I offer my heartfelt condolences to his family and to the world of football ”.