Raoul Diagne was a French footballer who played defense, and had stints as a coach after his playing career. He was educated in Senegal, migrated to France to pursue his studies and joined Racing Club de Paris as an amateur in 1930.

Just a year later, Diagne became the first black player to represent France when he appeared for Les Bleus in a 2-1 defeat against Czechoslovakia.

He finished his career in France with Annecy in 1946 and then returned to Dakar, where he became player-coach at US Gorée. He later coached in Algeria, Belgium and France and, in 1960, after independence, he became the first national coach of Senegal.

Three years later, Diagne’s status as national hero was cemented when he oversaw Senegal’s first victory over France at the Friendship Games in Dakar.

Remembered as the ‘grandfather of Senegalese football’, Diagne was a pioneer in France and Senegal, contributing to the construction of the football culture of both nations.

Raoul Diagne was born in French Guiana to Senegalese politician Blaise Diagne, who was also the first black African to be elected into the French government.

He died on November 12, 2002, at 92 years old.