Dubai: Bruno Metsu, the UAE’s 2007 Gulf Cup-winning coach, died on Tuesday following a battle with cancer. He was 59.

The Frenchman rose to fame when he led Senegal to a surprise 1-0 victory over his home country in the opening game of the 2002 Fifa World Cup.

He was diagnosed with colon cancer shortly after replacing Argentine coach Diego Maradona at Dubai’s Al Wasl club in July 2012, but this was later said to have spread to his lungs and liver. He passed away at a clinic in his hometown of Coudekerque Village in Northern France.

He will be remembered as one of the greatest coaches in UAE football history, having won both the national team’s first Gulf Cup in 2007 and the country’s first Asian Champions League title with Al Ain in 2003.