Former Paris-Saint-Germain and Cameroon midfielder Modeste M’Bami has died aged 40 following a heart attack, PSG said in a statement on Saturday.
M’Bami won two French Cups with the Parisian club, in 2004 and 2006, as well as an Olympic gold medal with Cameroon at the Sydney Games in 2000.
At those Olympics, M’Bami secured his place in Cameroon football history by scoring a “golden goal” in extra time to seal the Indomitable Lions’ victory over Ronaldinho’s Brazil in the quarter-finals.
After starting his career at the Kadji Sport Academy, then at Dynamo Douala in Cameroon, M’Bami joined PSG in 2003 where he stayed for three seasons.
He then spent three seasons with French side Olympique Marseille, who were among those paying tribute to the Cameroonian, expressing his “great sadness”.
Tributes poured in from all corners of the footballing world, including former teammates and FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
“Such sad news,” Infantino said in an Instagram story alongside 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 deepest 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 stint with French clubs, M’Bami spent time playing for clubs in Spain, China, Saudi Arabia and Colombia before returning to France to finish his playing career at Le Havre in Ligue 2. .
After retiring at 35, he returned to Cameroon and organized football recruitment days in Africa.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of former Cameroonian footballer Modeste M’bami,” the Confederation of African Football said. said on Twitter.
“All our condolences and thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time. May he rest in peace.”