CHRISTOPHER MABOULOU died of a heart attack on Sunday while having a kick-about with his pals.
The former French top-flight star, 30, made 29 Ligue 1 appearances for Bastia.
He also played for Chateauroux, Nancy, Evian and Greeks PAS Giannina.
The Paris-born ace was called into the Congo national squad in 2018, but remained an unused sub.
He was a free agent after being released by Evian last summer.
But tragedy struck on Sunday as Maboulou was enjoying a friendly game of football at Montfermeil, the Paris suburb where he was born.
He collapsed on the pitch and was rushed to hospital but could not be saved.
Maboulou previously took an enforced two-year break from football when doctors diagnosed cardiac problems in 2011.
He recovered sufficiently well to land a top-flight move to Bastia three years later.
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The Corsican club said: “We have sadly just learned of the tragic death of our former player Christopher Maboulou.
“We extend our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. May he rest in peace.”
Chateauroux tweeted: “Christopher was a child of our club. Football was his life.
“It was while playing the sport that he loved so much that he left his favourite playground.”
Former Chateauroux president Michel Denisot added: “My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the club’s former player Christopher Maboulou. RIP.”