Papa Bouba Diop, a star of Senegal's famous World Cup campaign in 2002, has died. 

Diop, 42, had reportedly been battling a long-term illness. 

The former midfielder played for four different clubs in England, enjoying spells at Fulham, Portsmouth, West Ham and Birmingham City after impressing in France for Lens. 

In a Twitter statement on Sunday, Lens said: "It is with great sadness that Racing Club de Lens have just learned of the passing of their former player Papa Bouba Diop, at the age of 42. 

"We offer our deepest condolences to his loved ones."

Diop is best remembered for helping Senegal to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup 18 years ago. He scored the only goal of the game as they stunned reigning champions France 1-0 in the opening match in Seoul. 

He scored twice more in a 3-3 draw with Uruguay as Senegal progressed from the group stage before beating Sweden in the last 16. 

Their remarkable run was ended by Turkey, who triumphed 1-0 to progress through to the semi-finals. 

Diop began his career in Senegal with ASC Diaraf before playing in Switzerland for Vevey, Neuchatel Xamax and Grasshoppers, winning the Super League title in 2001. 

He also spent a season in Greece with AEK Athens, where he won the Greek Cup in 2010-11, three years after lifting the FA Cup with Portsmouth. 

Diop, who won 63 senior caps for his country, was also part of the team that reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002, where they lost to Cameroon on penalties.

Paris Saint-Germain have secured highly rated youngster Arnaud Kalimuendo to a new four-year contract and loaned him to Lens for the season.

Kalimuendo, 18, has been at the club since 2011 and made his debut for the senior side away to Lens at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

A technically gifted forward, Kalimuendo impressed for PSG's under-19s across the two previous seasons, netting nine times in 10 UEFA Youth League matches.

He joins a promoted Lens side that has hit the ground running upon their return to the top-flight, with Franck Haise's men sitting third – a point ahead of PSG, whom they beat 1-0 last month – after winning four of their first six matches.

Kalimuendo may have to be patient if he is to break into the starting XI, however, with Ignatius Ganago netting four goals already this term.

Neymar and Angel Di Maria remain doubtful to return for Paris Saint-Germain in Sunday's Classique against Marseille, head coach Thomas Tuchel said.

The superstar duo were among a large contingent of players to miss the Ligue 1 champions' opening-game loss to new boys Lens on Thursday after contracting coronavirus.

With Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe also among those to miss out, PSG slipped to a 1-0 defeat with Tuchel later saying a draw was about the best his side – whose campaign was also delayed because they reached the Champions League final – could have hoped for.

Following the game, Tuchel was asked if PSG may have more options for the clash with fierce rivals Marseille but says the limited training Neymar or Di Maria would have makes their availability unclear.

"I do not know exactly. If possible, a few players could play. But if they play, they would only have a leg work out," Tuchel said. 

"What are we going to do? We can give a few minutes. If Neymar, Di Maria play, yes, but they would play after two weeks without training too. 

"Physically, I can't wait for them to be the decisive guys. It's always risky. We have to talk with the players, the doctors too."

Thomas Tuchel shrugged off Paris Saint-Germain's loss at newly promoted Lens, insisting a draw is the best result the depleted Ligue 1 champions could have hoped for in their season opener.

PSG's title defence started with a 1-0 defeat away to Lens – the Champions League runners-up missing seven first-team players on Thursday.

Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Keylor Navas and Mauro Icardi were among those absent as PSG succumbed to Ignatius Ganago's 57th-minute goal following an error from goalkeeper Marcin Bulka.

PSG managed just one shot on target across 90 minutes, despite 78.1 per cent possession, and head coach Tuchel said he was not surprised by the result.

"I don't think we could have done any better tonight," Tuchel told Canal+. "I was happy with the first half we had. We controlled the game completely, and we had possession.

"We struggled to create scoring chances today. No opportunities? Yes, I agree. But we have a small group, and we are missing the players who make the difference.

"With a young team, we made a decisive mistake and we couldn't take advantage of their mistakes. A draw is the best we could have hoped for."

While PSG were in action, speculation regarding Roma and Italy full-back Alessandro Florenzi intensified.

According to reports, Florenzi is set to join PSG on loan with an option to buy as the French powerhouse look to replace right-back Thomas Meunier, who moved to Borussia Dortmund.

Asked about Florenzi post-match, Tuchel – who dismissed a move for Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi – said: "I hope that will be resolved. I am very optimistic for him."

Paris Saint-Germain's depleted squad could not get the Ligue 1 champions' title defence off to a winning start as they were beaten 1-0 away on Lens on Thursday.

Thomas Tuchel was without seven first-team players due to positive coronavirus tests, with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Keylor Navas and Mauro Icardi among those missing, and their makeshift XI failed to break down the hosts.

Lens went closest in the first half as Ignatius Ganago struck the right-hand post after fine individual work, but otherwise PSG controlled proceedings, seeing 78 per cent of the ball in the opening 45 minutes, even though they did not threaten particularly often.

PSG continued to dictate the ball but struggled to create chances and a Marcin Bulka error gifted Lens the lead in the 57th minute, with Ganago's goal ultimately proving decisive.

Despite the unfamiliar look of the PSG side, Lens were unable to put them under a great deal of pressure, though Ganago did go close in the 17th minute when he hit the post after leaving the visitors' defence in knots.

At the other end, Kays Ruiz-Atil showed plenty of promise for PSG, the 18-year-old winger shooting just wide with a nonchalant attempt from just outside the penalty area.

The other teenager in PSG's starting XI, Arnaud Kalimuendo, nearly sniffed out a chance just before half-time as he looked to latch on to Marco Verratti's lofted pass, but Jean-Louis Leca rushed out of the goal to end the danger just in time.

Bulka was significantly less commanding in the PSG net just before the hour, however, as he squandered possession from a short, simple pass, and Ganago took full advantage as he smashed past the youngster to make it 1-0.

It should have been 2-0 soon after, but Simon Banza attempted a diving-header from point-blank range when it made more sense to use his foot, and Bulka made the block.

Florian Sotoca should have done better with a header across goal 11 minutes from time, but PSG never looked like equalising as they succumbed to defeat.

What does it mean? PSG unsurprisingly struggle

It would be fair to say that many considered Lens – only promoted from Ligue 2 last term – as favourites for this encounter, given PSG's situation.

While they saw way more of the ball than Lens - 78.1 per cent to 21.9 - they had immense difficulty creating chances, getting just one shot on target across the 90 minutes.

As a result, PSG's run of scoring in 32 successive away Ligue 1 matches – a joint-record – came to an end.

Ganago keeps the PSG defence on their toes

A recent arrival from Nice, the Cameroonian was a real livewire, having three shots and touching the ball second-most often among Lens players before his late withdrawal.

He was unlucky to hit the post in the first half and then went on to get the winning goal, his pressing paying off handsomely. He has netted more (three) against PSG in Ligue 1 than any other side.

Bulka to blame

The young goalkeeper was only playing because of Navas' illness and Sergio Rico's ineligibility, but in the end he was culpable for the defeat. He gifted Lens the winner, with this other two saves ultimately worthless.

What's next?

The action comes thick and fast over the coming weeks for PSG, who are next in action against Marseille in Le Classique on Sunday, their second fixture in a run of four matches in 11 days. Lens go to Lorient on the same day.

Paris Saint-Germain are set to launch their Ligue 1 title defence on Thursday with a drastically weakened squad and a host of youngsters.

Coach Thomas Tuchel named his squad as PSG departed for Lens, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria among the absentees.

A number of COVID-19 positive tests have left the Champions League runners-up depleted for the start of their domestic campaign.

As well as the absent star attacking trident, it has been reported in France that Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Marquinhos and Keylor Navas have tested positive for the coronavirus.

They will all miss the match at Lens, along with Sergio Rico, who joined too late from Sevilla to be registered for the match.

With Navas and Rico unavailable, young Polish goalkeeper Marcin Bulka will start the game, Tuchel has confirmed.

Several French youngsters feature in the 20-man squad, including midfielders Bandiougou Fadiga and Kays Ruiz-Atil, goalkeeper Garissone Innocent, striker Arnaud Kalimuendo, defender Timothee Pembele.

Dutch defender Mitchel Bakker may get another chance to impress after the 20-year-old made a rare senior appearance in the Coupe de la Ligue final, while his 17-year-old compatriot Xavi Simons, a midfielder who began his career at Barcelona, also joins the first-team squad.

There is experienced talent to complement the youngsters, with the likes of Julian Draxler, Juan Bernat, Idrissa Gueye, Ander Herrera, Marco Verratti and Presnel Kimpembe making the trip.

Thomas Tuchel is expecting a "very difficult" match against Lens in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 opener after a number of players tested positive for coronavirus.

Reigning champions PSG are without seven players for Thursday's clash at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis, with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria among their absentees.

The Champions League finalists have had less than three weeks off since ending their 2019-20 campaign and Tuchel admits it may take time for his side to find their rhythm.

"It's a little weird to start with a very difficult match in Lens," he said at his pre-match news conference. "Normally, after a final, we have a preparation phase with friendly matches. 

"But starting with a Ligue 1 match in Lens, it's going to be very hard. For me, it's important that we don't expect too much. We will give everything, but we will also be humble.

"We are looking to find solutions. The situation is more complicated with seven players affected by COVID-19, but we have confidence."

Leandro Paredes, Mauro Icardi, Marquinhos and Keylor Navas are reported to be the other players who tested positive for COVID-19, leaving Tuchel with limited options.

PSG face a run of four league matches in 10 days and Tuchel is unsure when his quarantined stars will be given the all clear to return to action.

"I don't want to say too much, but the players who tested positive feel better," he said. "But resuming training is another thing. 

"They will resume individual programmes, but I have doubts for Sunday against Marseille. We'll have to wait to find out. We are very responsible and careful with them."

In better news for PSG, Marco Verratti has been deemed fit to play a part after recovering from a calf problem that plagued him in the latter stages of last season.

Tuchel also confirmed Julian Draxler, Presnel Kimpembe, Thilo Kehrer and Colin Dagba are available for the trip to Lens, who lost 2-1 to Nice in their first game following promotion.

Marcin Bulka will start in goal, meanwhile, as Navas is out and Sergio Rico joined too late to be registered for the match.

"They played a very good match in Nice on the first day," Tuchel said of opponents Lens. "It's not easy because our last match was a Champions League final. 

"It won't be the same level, but we have to be focused to try to win. I have confidence in all the players who will play tomorrow."

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed three more players have tested positive for COVID-19, putting their return to Ligue 1 action next week in doubt.

It means six players have now returned positives across the last two rounds of screening, with the first three having been reported on Wednesday.

Thursday's news will likely see PSG's match at Lens, scheduled for September 10, rearranged to a later date, having already been pushed back at the request of the beaten Champions League finalists.

A brief statement from the club said: "The latest tests for PCR SarsCoV2 carried out on the Paris Saint-Germain first team confirmed three new positive cases.

"The players are following the appropriate health measures."

Thomas Tuchel's men were crowned Ligue 1 champions on a points-per-game basis after the 2019-20 season was abandoned in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They went on to win both domestic cups in the space of a week but were denied an historic quadruple after losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on August 23.

Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed three players have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of their return to Ligue 1 action next week.

The 2019-20 Champions League finalists are due to begin their domestic title defence at Lens on September 10, with that fixture pushed back at PSG's request.

However, a trio of players have contracted coronavirus ahead of that match, which will likely be postponed should a fourth positive test be returned.

A PSG statement on Wednesday read: "Three PSG players are confirmed positive after a Sars CoV2 test and have undergone the appropriate health protocols.

"All players and staff will continue to be tested over the next few days."

Thomas Tuchel's men were crowned Ligue 1 champions on a points-per-game basis after the 2019-20 season was abandoned in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They went on to win both domestic cups in the space of a week but were denied an historic quadruple after losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on August 23.

Paris Saint-Germain have been granted an extended break before starting their 2020-21 Ligue 1 campaign after their trip to Lens was postponed.

The reigning champions had been due to begin their title defence at Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Saturday, six days after their 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

Thomas Tuchel's men played three Champions League games in 12 days in Portugal - where the competition was concluded having been halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic - and PSG wanted to give their players more time to recover before beginning the new season.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed that PSG's request has been approved by both Lens and local broadcaster Canal +, with the fixture rearranged to Thursday, September 10.

In addition, this weekend's clash between Strasbourg and Nice has been brought forward a day, to the Saturday evening timeslot originally occupied by Lens' home game against PSG.

The Lens fixture, which now comes after the international break, will still be PSG's first match of the new season and they are due to host rivals Marseille three days later.

Marseille had been set to begin their campaign last Friday but their trip to Saint-Etienne was postponed after OM confirmed they had four positive COVID-19 cases in their squad.

On Tuesday, Marseille revealed "three new suspected cases of COVID-19 were detected" and said the LFP had been informed.

Given the LFP's directive that more than three positive cases would likely lead to a postponement, Marseille's trip to Brest this weekend would also appear to now be in doubt.

Paris Saint-Germain will begin their Ligue 1 title defence at home to Metz after the French Professional Football League (LFP) announced its 2020-21 top-flight schedule.

The first round of matches will take place on the weekend of August 22-23, with the season set to conclude on May 23 next year.

PSG were awarded their seventh top-flight title in eight seasons after the 2019-20 campaign was abandoned and decided on a point-per-game basis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The abandonment move has since been questioned amid other elite divisions in Europe successfully resuming their seasons behind closed doors.

An LFP vote sealed Amiens and Toulouse's relegation, with Lorient and Lens promoted from Ligue 2 in their place.

Lorient host Strasbourg on the opening weekend, while Lens are on the road at Nice.

The first Classique of the season comes in the third round of fixtures, with PSG welcoming Marseille to the Parc des Princes in mid-September. The return is billed for February 7.

Marseille start at home to Saint-Etienne, with Bordeaux and Lille hosting Nantes and Rennes respectively.

Lyon begin on the road at Montpellier, with the first of their always feisty clashes against Marseille coming at Groupama Stadium on October 4. The rivalry is then scheduled to resume at the Stade Velodrome on February 28.

Ligue 1 2020-21 – Opening weekend fixtures in full:

Lorient v Strasbourg
Nimes v Brest
Dijon v Angers
Bordeaux v Nantes
Monaco v Reims
Montpellier v Lyon
Nice v Lens
Lille v Rennes
Marseille v Saint-Etienne
PSG v Metz

James Vaughan will always look back fondly on April 10, as this is the date on which he made Premier League history.

Although his top-flight career failed to stay airborne for long, it certainly got off to a flying start when he became the division's youngest goalscorer for Everton against Crystal Palace.

His achievement stands 15 years on but, as you can see below, that's not even close to being the longest such record across the top five leagues in Europe.

Here are the youngest goalscorers ever seen in the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Ligue 1, the Premier League and Serie A. Enjoy your trip down memory lane...

 

BUNDESLIGA: NURI SAHIN (17y, 82d)

Date: 26/11/2005

Match: Nurnberg 1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Sahin became the youngest player in Bundesliga history when he made his debut in August 2005 at 16 years and 334 days old. Just three months later, he was in the record books again, netting Dortmund's second goal in a 2-1 win at Nurnberg after David Odonkor had put them ahead.

What happened next? Sahin's early career at Dortmund was hugely promising, but things became more difficult once injuries took their toll amid unhappy spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool. He returned to Dortmund and the Bundesliga in 2014 and has been with Werder Bremen since 2018.

LALIGA: FABRICE OLINGA (16y, 98d)

Date: 18/08/2012

Match: Celta Vigo 0-1 Malaga

Olinga made LaLiga history when he (rather fortuitously) scored the only goal of the game in Malaga's 1-0 win at Celta. Rarely have there been more momentous goals scored off the thigh from five yards.

What happened next? Olinga left Malaga for Apollon Limassol in January 2014 but spent most of the next year on loan at Zulte Waregem and then Viitorul. After a dispute with Sampdoria, in which compatriot Samuel Eto'o took the club to court on Olinga's behalf over a player registration dispute, the Cameroon international signed for Mouscron.

LIGUE 1: RICHARD KRAWCZYK (16y, 3m, 15d)

Date: 08/09/1963

Match: Angers 1-2 Lens

Only 11th in the list of Ligue 1's youngest post-war players, Krawczyk leads the way in terms of youngest goalscorers after helping Lens to victory over Angers in September 1963.

What happened next? Part of a proud tradition of players of Polish descent at Lens, Krawczyk spent five years in the first team before playing for Metz, Reims and then returning to his old club in 1976 until 1979.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE: JAMES VAUGHAN (16y, 270d)

Date: 10/04/2005

Match: Everton 4-0 Crystal Palace

Vaughan broke the record held by James Milner when he struck in the 87th minute against Palace, after Mikel Arteta and a Tim Cahill double had put Everton in control.

What happened next? 'Nomadic' is an apt description of Vaughan's career. Apart from Everton - whom he officially left in 2011 - the striker has played for 12 different clubs, most recently joining League One strugglers Tranmere Rovers on loan from Bradford City in January.

SERIE A: AMEDEO AMADEI (15y, 287d)

Date: 09/05/1937

Match: Lucchese 5-1 Roma

The fact Amadei's record stands 83 years on shows what an admirable feat it was (even if it's a game Roma fans would soon forget). He also remains the joint-youngest player to appear in Serie A, the other being Pietro Pellegri.

What happened next? Amadei scored 111 goals in 234 games for Roma and is recognised as a true club great. His time with Atalanta, Inter and Napoli, whom he twice coached in the 1950s and early 1960s, saw him inducted into Italian football's hall of fame in 2018 five years after his death at the age of 92.

The last Coupe de la Ligue final should have been taking place on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain were scheduled to face Lyon at the Stade de France, but the coronavirus pandemic bringing almost all sport to a halt has thrown the postponed match into doubt.

It remains to be seen whether the final game in the competition's history will actually be contested, French football's governing body having voted to expunge the tournament at the end of this season.

The Coupe de la Ligue may not have the same prestige as the Coupe de France, but over the years it has delivered some memorable finals.

Here we pick out the five best showpieces.

1998 – Paris Saint-Germain 2-2 Bordeaux (4-2 on penalties)

PSG claimed the second of their eight Couple de la Ligue titles in a bona-fide thriller at the Stade de France. 

They were behind 30 minutes in when Sylvain Wiltord played in Johan Micoud to lash in the opener. However, PSG dominated thereafter and 10 minutes from time they levelled as Marco Simone fired home on the rebound after Ulrich Rame had kept out Rai's penalty.

Simone then struck the crossbar with a thunderous long-range volley, but Rai put PSG ahead in extra time with a bullet header.

The legendary Jean-Pierre Papin restored parity in the 114th minute but he was among those to miss in the shoot-out, blazing over the bar before Patrice Loko slotted in the decisive penalty.

It marked the second successive year Bordeaux had lost on spot-kicks in the final. Less than a month later, PSG made it a double with Coupe de France victory over Lens.

2000 – Gueugnon 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain

PSG suffered humiliation two years later as Gueugnon became the first and only team from outside the top division to win the trophy.

Marcelo Trapasso gave the second-tier side the lead as he reacted quickest to Nicolas Esceth-N'Zi's drive rattling the post.

Gueugnon withstood a barrage of PSG pressure but ensured a historic victory through Sylvain Flauto's individual effort.

2001 – Lyon 2-1 Monaco (aet)

A meeting between the previous season's top-flight champions and the club that would go on to dominate the decade lived up to expectations and ended in dramatic fashion.

Claudio Cacapa was the unlikely man to break the deadlock, the Brazilian defender chipping over Stephane Porato in the 35th minute. 

Shabani Nonda forced extra time as his volley squirmed past Gregory Coupet, but two minutes from the end of the second additional period substitute Patrick Muller met Sonny Anderson's left-wing cross to settle an absorbing encounter.

2003 – Monaco 4-1 Sochaux

There was no late drama for Monaco this time around as Didier Deschamps' side produced the kind of performance they dazzled Europe with en route to the Champions League final in the subsequent season.

It was Ludovic Giuly who lit up the Stade de France with a stunning display marked by two wondrous goals as Monaco netted four in the space of 21 second-half minutes.

He opened the scoring by finding the bottom-left corner with a vicious half-volley and, after Sebastien Squillaci and Dado Prso had effectively put the game beyond doubt, Giuly added gloss with an exquisite lob to cap one of the finest individual Coupe de la Ligue final performances.

2008 – Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Lens

Ten years on from their previous triumph in the competition, PSG reclaimed the trophy with the help of a dreadful late error from Lens defender Hilton.

Lens had looked the more likely to emerge victorious after Eric Carriere cancelled out Pauleta's deft lob.

However, with the game on the brink of extra time, Hilton bundled over Peguy Luyindula and Bernard Mendy's staggered run-up fooled Ronan Le Crom as he calmly converted from 12 yards to send PSG fans into delirium.

PSG were subsequently banned from the 2008-09 competition for an insulting banner unfurled by some of their supporters. The punishment was overturned on appeal, and they have since won the competition five further times under their Qatari owners.

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