Bruno Metsu, former Senegal coach, dies of cancer at the age of 59

The former Senegal coach Bruno Metsu has died of cancer at the age of 59.

Known as “The White Sorcerer”, Metsu was diagnosed with colon cancer in July 2012 having replaced Diego Maradona as coach of Al Wasl in Dubai.

The disease is said to have spread to his lungs and liver. He died at a clinic in his home town of Coudekerque-Village in northern France.

Metsu achieved worldwide fame by coaching Senegal to a 1-0 win over the defending world champions France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea.

Senegal reached the last eight and also got to the Africa Cup of Nations final in the same year.

“A thought for those close to Bruno Metsu, a man and a coach who successfully exported the values of French football,” the French Football Federation said.

Claude Le Roy, a close friend of Metsu who also coached Senegal, Cameroon and Ghana, said he “fought like a lion”.

He told L’Equipe: “It’s terrible for him, for Viviane [his wife] and the kids. I’m thinking about them in particular. We had a lot of adventures together. I will remember his magnificent smile and his love of life.”.

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Metsu went on to achieve success in the Middle East, winning the Gulf Cup in 2007 as head coach of the United Arab Emirates before becoming Qatar coach in 2009.

He also coached Al Ain to the Asian Champions League title in 2003.