World Cup Wonders #4 Papa Bouba Diop

We love the World Cup because of the shock factor, and when Asian & African teams are involved, shocks are delivered. This one reverberated around the globe in particularly dramatic fashion. Tournament débutantes Vs World Cup holders in the opening match of the tournament, the stage was set and the drama was about to unfold.

Papa Bouba Diop Vs France (2002 World Cup in Japan & South Korea)

Holders France were shocked in their opening game against Senegal who had just made history by qualifying for the World Cup. France looked out of sorts and Senegal made sure they capitalised. Diouf’s low cross from the left found Diop and he made sure the ball crossed the line at the second attempt, sending the fans in the Seoul stadium wild. While the goal itself was not as technically accomplished as the ones we have seen so far, the celebratory dance around the top further cemented this moment as an immediate classic:

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