“Pope knew how to win the hearts of Marseillais”, underlines Didier Deschamps


The world of football has not failed to salute the memory of Pape Diouf, who died Tuesday in Dakar, at the age of 68, of the aftermath of Covid-19. Didier Deschamps, the coach of the Blues, in turn pays tribute this Wednesday to the former president of OM from 2005 to 2009.

“I learned with amazement of the death of Pape Diouf. His sudden and brutal disappearance deeply saddens me, explains the Basque technician. First as a journalist, then as an agent, then as the manager of Olympique de Marseille, Pape was forcing respect for all of French football where he had established himself, over time, as a leading personality ” .

“A man of spirit, passionate about football”

Deschamps recalls that he had known Diouf for several decades. “The memory of our first exchanges goes back to the beginning of my career, when Pope advised my friend Marcel Desailly,” he notes. I then discovered a man of convictions, a man of spirit, passionate about football and its actors. Even if our collaboration was brief, I do not forget, obviously, that it was he who allowed me to become the Marseille coach in 2009. During my three seasons on the OM bench, I was able to measure his immense popularity with the Marseillais whose heart he had known how to win. This popularity lived up to his love for this city and this club to which he was very attached and which he embodied so well ”.

“Respect the instructions”

The world champion coach also wished to show his solidarity with all the victims of the pandemic. “Pope is unfortunately one of the countless victims of the coronavirus in the world,” he underlines. I would like to have a thought for the families in sorrow, for the sick who suffer and struggle to stay alive.

In this very complicated period that we are living, let us all show solidarity, with the nursing staff in particular, rigor and discipline. Respect the instructions given to us. It is extremely important. Really. “

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