Benin captain Stephane Sessegnon has led the tributes to former Benin international and teammate Osseni Bachirou, who has died at the age of 33.
Bachirou passed away on Tuesday at a hospital in Benin, with no further details of the cause of death made public.
“It is with sadness that we learned this morning, the death of Osseni Bachirou our brother, teammate and former captain of the national team of Benin,” the former PSG, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion forward posted on social media.
“On behalf of all my teammates in the national team, we extend our sincere condolences to all his family, to the family of Benin football without exception.”
“We are crying for a captain who has just left us. May his soul rest in peace and may Allah preserve him.”
The midfielder played ten times for Benin between 2003 and 2005, including six games in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, with his only international goal coming in a 4-1 loss to Libya.
His highlight for his country was captaining Benin to third place at the 2005 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.
As well as scoring a goal for his team he also had to help his squad cope with the murder of the team’s goalkeeper Samiou ‘Campos’ Yessoufou.
Bachirou’s club career saw him spend time in Europe at Vitoria Setubal of Portugal, Slovakia’s FK Bodva and Belgian club Diegem.
In Benin he played for Soleil FC before his stint overseas that began in Libya with AZ Zwiyah and returned home to play for Porto Novo.
After his playing career he had started coaching and was in charge of Beninois second-tier side Etente Kandi.
Bachirou played alongside Sessegnon in the national team.