Bruno Metsu, who took Senegal to the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, dies

The manager, who had been coaching in the Middle East, was 59

Bruno Metsu, whose Senegal side were sensations of the 2002 World Cup, has died at the age of 59.

Metsu died at home in Dunkirk on Monday night, his former clubs Lille and Nice confirmed.

Instantly recognisable at the height of his career by his long mane of hair and sharp suits, Metsu led Senegal to the World Cup quarter-finals at the tournament in Japan and South Korea.

The team nicknamed the Lions of Teranga began the tournament by beating Metsu's native France, who were defending the trophy, in the opening game, and also defeated Sweden before falling to Turkey in the last eight.

After his feat with Senegal, Metsu spent the rest of his coaching career in the Middle East, taking charge of several club sides plus the United Arab Emirates and Qatar national teams.

In July 2012 he became coach of Al Wasl, replacing Diego Maradona, but resigned in October of the same year due to illness. Metsu told the L'Equipe sports newspaper in July that doctors had advised him last October he had three months left to live after diagnosing terminal cancer.

Lille, for whom Metsu had brief spells as a player and manager, paid their own tribute.

Metsu played for the club from 1979 to 1981, and was head coach from 1992 to 1993.

The Ligue 1 side said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of Bruno Metsu."

Former Lille team-mate Stephane Plancque added a personal tribute, saying: "We played together for two seasons. I was younger than him, I knew about him already from his reputation. We quickly became close, and were room-mates for away games. He was a great guy, very grounded, a joker and had a love of life.

"He liked to joke, but he knew how to be very professional and a competitor on the pitch."

Metsu also had a spell as a player with Nice, from 1981 to 1982.

The French south-coast said in a statement: "OGC Nice are once again in mourning.

"After a long battle against illness, Bruno Metsu died last night in his native north. The club pledges support to his family and loved ones."

Claude Le Roy, who has coached Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana, was taken aback by news of his fellow Frenchman's death.

Le Roy told http://www.lequipe.fr: "I'm in shock. He fought like a lion.

"We had lots in common. It's terrible for him, for (his wife) Viviane and the children. It's them I'm thinking off above all.

"I remember a magnificent smile and his joie de vivre."

Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who had the option of playing for Senegal before choosing France, was also sorry to hear of Metsu's death.

"A big thought for the family of Bruno Metsu," Gomis wrote on Twitter. "A great man and a great coach has left us."

France's sports minister Valerie Fourneyron called to mind Metsu's ebullient nature as she paid tribute.

She said: "For this man of the north, the tenacity and strength of character in adversity took the place of the rulebook. He lost his final battle but will remain, in the memory of all fans of football, a person who never gave up, this indefatigable globe-trotter of the round ball who always pushed others to go beyond their limits.

"He was a skilful midfielder, with good technical skills, who developed essentially in his stronghold of the north, whether at Dunkirk, Valenciennes, Lille or Roubaix. But this loyalty to his roots didn't restrict him from responding to the appeal of other horizons, where he showed his qualities as a coach with the national teams of Senegal, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

"His final job was as coach of Al Wasl, where he succeeded Diego Maradona, proof that this man wasn't afraid of anything.

"To his wife Viviane and their children, to all who knew or loved Bruno Metsu, I send my most sincere condolences and want to assure them of my support in this difficult time."

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment