Former soccer star Modeste M’Bami died Saturday after a heart attack.
According to French news and culture website Melty, M’Bami had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days prior to his death. His agent reportedly said that M’Bami was “very tired and kept coughing,” according to the report.
Whether or not M’Bami had received a COVID vaccination or booster shots was unreported. M’Bami retired from professional soccer in 2016, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mail, and would therefore not have been required to receive one as an active player might.
Melty called M’Bami “one of the most popular footballers of his time.”
M’Bami played for Paris-Saint-Germain and Cameroon, helping the latter to take the Olympic gold medal in 2000 with a “golden goal” in extra time during a quarterfinal game against Brazil, CNN reported.
Fans, reporters and professional organizations expressed their sorrow at his death and offered their condolences on Twitter and other social media platforms over the weekend.
.@PSG_English learned with deep sadness of the passing of our former player Modeste M’Bami.
The Club offers its sincere condolences to his family and loved ones pic.twitter.com/M4DKjAldhl
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 7, 2023
Cameroon’s footballing legend Modeste M’bami has passed on.
May his soul rest in peace.#RadullKE pic.twitter.com/5ki27ctW9A
— Carol Radull (@CarolRadull) January 8, 2023
Paris Saint Germain issued a statement on M’bami’s death Saturday:
Paris Saint-Germain is in mourning. Modeste Mbami has passed away at the age of 40, after suffering a heart attack.
The Cameroonian midfielder joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2003, after wearing the colours of the Académie Kadji Sport, and then Dynamo Douala in Cameroun. M’Bami established his name in the world of football at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, with the golden goal in the quarter-finals against the favourites: Ronaldinho’s Brazil.
Sedan and France welcomed the ambitious 18 year-old, who joined Paris after 3 seasons in Ardennes.
In Paris, M’Bami became a key member of the team and he went on to win two Coupes de France (2004 and 2006). After a long period out after a serious injury suffered at CSKA Moscow on 7 December 2004, he returned to the starting eleven in 2005-2006 , for his third season in the capital, before deciding to leave Paris and sign for OM. 3 years in Marseille, then to Spain (Almeria), China (Dalian Aerbin, Changchun Yatai), Saudi Arabia (Al-Ittihad, Al Fateh) and Colombia (Millonarios FC in 2014), before returning to France, with Le Havre in Ligue 2.
He ended his playing career in 2016, at the age of 35, when he headed back to Cameroon, where he organised recruitment days for young footballers in Africa. He returned to Le Havre, where he tragically died on Saturday 7 January.
Paris Saint-Germain offers heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.
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