Few people enjoyed playing against combative Ivorian midfielder Cheick Tiote, but the longtime Newcastle United midfielder was respected by many.
Tiote, 30, passed away Monday after collapsing during a training session with Chinese side Beijing Enterprises.
The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner also played with Twente and Anderlecht, and was especially beloved amongst his ex-Newcastle teammates.
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Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez praised Tiote as “a true professional, dedicated, talented, and above all, a great man.”
Ex-NUFC boss Alan Pardew was particularly stung by Tiote’s death, and honored “a giant of a midfielder.”
Alan Pardew is deeply upset at the death of former player Cheick Tiote, who he had as a player at NUFC for 4 years. Here is his tribute: pic.twitter.com/VZwe0k538A
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) June 5, 2017
We'll never forget you, Cheick. ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/c8aO6EyW5w
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 5, 2017
I can't belive it. No words. I am broken. RIP Cheick
Sin palabras, no puedo creerlo… descansa en paz amigo pic.twitter.com/aJzoBaP9YV
— Ayoze Perez (@AyozePG) June 5, 2017
I am speechless and so incredibly sad. Cheick Tioté was one of the nicest and toughest teammates I have ever had. Rest in peace brother.
— Vincent Kompany (@VincentKompany) June 5, 2017
Damn. Can't believe it. RIP Cheicky… Gone way to soon😢
— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 5, 2017
Devastated to hear of Cheik Tiote's death. A wonderful man, who was always laughing or smiling. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) June 5, 2017
And non of us can believe it, my thoughts are with his family at this time. RIP Cheicky ❤️
— Jamaal Lascelles (@Lascelles16) June 5, 2017
Rip tiote ❤ thoughts go out to your family pic.twitter.com/ldJ59pg0oF
— dwight gayle (@dwightgayle) June 5, 2017
Rip chieky-man… you absolute warrior 😥
— Rob Elliot (@the_dilsh) June 5, 2017
Gutted to hear the news. A real nice guy. He helped me a lot as I was breaking into the first team so I can't thank him enough.
RIP Cheicky pic.twitter.com/rdv1Qv84t3
— Paul Dummett (@PaulDummett) June 5, 2017
I'm devastated and saddened by the death of my bro Cheick Tiote . May Allah grant you Jannah… https://t.co/RCrtvIgr4w
— Christian Atsu (@ChristianAtsu20) June 5, 2017
Deeply sad to hear the news about Cheick.. One of my favourite teammates.. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/FvS6TdDctP
— Tim Krul (@TimKrul) June 5, 2017
😭😭😭 may Allah gives grant you jannah brother Tiote 😭😭😭
— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) June 5, 2017
Shocked to hear the news that former @NUFC midfielder Cheick Tiote has passed away.. thoughts & prayers with his family & friends!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 5, 2017
Rest In Peace, Cheick Tioté, my condolences to his family and friends 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/ZDEXdG1rzt
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) June 5, 2017
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Cheick Tioté and our colleagues at #NUFC
Such sad news. https://t.co/TmNXuRGMcH
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) June 5, 2017