The former Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Metz, OGC Nice and Senegal striker Jules Bocandé has passed away at the age of 53.
Bocandé, who died following recent surgery, was the French league’s leading scorer in 1985/86 with Metz, and won 73 caps for Senegal, scoring 20 goals. He coached the Senegalese national team in the mid-1990s, and was assistant coach when Senegal reached the FIFA World Cup quarter-final in 2002.
An iconic figure in his country, he was described in tribute by Senegalese Football Federation president Augustin Senghor as a man who "put Senegalese football back on track". Senghor added: "It is a huge loss."
A powerful centre-forward, Bocandé began his European career in Belgium with US Tournai and RFC Seraing, but came to greater prominence when he joined Metz. He featured when the Lorraine team created a surprise by beating FC Barcelona in the 1984/85 UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup, playing a major role in a famous 4-1 win at Camp Nou in the second leg.
The following season, Bocandé scored 23 league goals for Metz to finish as the country's top marksman. "He was an unpredictable player who did only what extremely gifted players could do," said his former Nice team- mate and now club coach René Marsiglia. "I spoke to him several times every month. He was a good friend. My thoughts are with his family."
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