Lille - French coach Bruno Metsu, best known for leading Senegal into the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, has died from cancer at the age of 59, friends said on Tuesday.
"He died overnight at 03:30," said Herve Beddeleem, the executive director of BCM Gravelines-Dunkirk basketball club said, confirming a report in La Voix du Nord newspaper.
"I am shattered by this news. Bruno had everything to be happy – an exemplary professional career, money, a happy marriage and children and then this cancer takes him away. It's just incredible," he said.
Metsu told L'Equipe newspaper in July that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer after undergoing a medical examination to discover why he had felt ill at the end of a match.
Metsu, instantly recognisable on the touchline with his dapper suits and long hair, caused a sensation at the 2002 World Cup when his Senegal team defeated reigning champions France in the opening match.
The west Africans went on to reach the quarter-finals where they lost 1-0 to Turkey.
Metsu went on to coach several clubs and nations in the Gulf region, notably winning the Gulf Cup with the United Arab Emirates in 2007.