Former Paris-Saint-Germain and Cameroon midfielder Modeste M’Bami has died aged 40 after suffering a heart attack, PSG said in a statement on Saturday.
M’Bami won two Coupes de France with the Parisian club, in 2004 and 2006, as well as an Olympic gold medal with Cameroon at the 2000 Sydney Games.
At those Olympics, M’Bami secured his place within Cameroonian footballing history as he scored a “golden goal” in extra time to seal the Indomitable Lions’ victory over Ronaldinho’s Brazil in the quarterfinals.
After beginning his career at Académie Kadji Sport, followed by Dynamo Douala in Cameroon, M’Bami joined PSG in 2003 where he stayed for three seasons.
He then spent three seasons at French side Olympique de Marseille, which was among those paying tribute to the Cameroonian, expressing its “great sadness.”
Tributes flooded in from all corners of the footballing world, including from former teammates and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
“Such sad news,” Infantino said in an Instagram story underneath a black and white photo of M’bami. “RIP Modeste M’bami.”
His Cameroonian teammate George Elokobi said on Twitter, “Devastating news. RIP my friend Modeste Mbami, gone too soon. Thank you for your warm welcome and a good roommate.”
“My sincerest condolences and prayers go out to your family and friends. Thank you for all your contributions to the Cameroon National Team.”
As well as his time at French clubs, M’Bami spent time playing at clubs in Spain, China, Saudi Arabia and Colombia before he returned to France to end his playing career at Le Havre in Ligue 2.
After retiring at the age of 35, he went back to Cameroon and organized recruitment days for footballers in Africa.
“We are deeply saddened to hear the passing of the former Cameroonian footballer Modeste M’bami,” the Confederation of African Football said on Twitter.
“All our condolences and thoughts go to his family and friends at this difficult time. May he Rest In Peace.” (CNN)