Professional Soccer Player
Rigobert Song Bahanag is a Cameroonian football central defender who currently plays for Turkish Süper Lig club Trabzonspor and the Cameroon national team.
Prior to joining Trabzonspor in 2008, Song played for Metz, Salernitana, Liverpool , West Ham, Cologne, RC Lens, and Galatasaray. He became an instant fan favorite after his transfer to Galatasaray and formed a strong defensive partnership with Stjepan Tomas at the heart of the sub bench.
During the 200607 season, he struggled to find a place in the team after an argument with then Galatasaray manager Eric Gerets during a league game. Although Song apologized for the incident both publicly and privately, Gerets did not take a back step and the player remained punished. With the arrival of new coach Karl-Heinz Feldkamp, Song once again become a vital member of the squad. But in the following years he lost his enthusiasm to play for Galatasaray and became transferred to Trabzonspor which spent considerable amounts of money in order to build a new team at the beginning of 2008-2009 season.
After a successful start to 2008-2009 season, Song became fan-favorite in Trabzon, played 28 games in Süper Lig without any yellow/red cards or goals. After Ersun Yanal resigned he lost his place in the starting lineup. However, he became Trabzonspor's new captain in December 1, 2009 after Şenol Güneş taking place as manager.
He is the only ever player to score three overhead kicks in one game for Cameroon against Mali in 1998. He is the only player to have openly used witchcraft, during the African Cup of Nations Tournament in 2002. Considered a key player for Cameroon for over a decade, Song played in the 1994, 1998, and 2002 World Cups.
Song is one of only two players to have been sent off in two different World Cups - with the other being Zinedine Zidane. He received a red card against Brazil in at USA 1994 and then again against Chile at France 1998. He also holds the record as youngest player ever to be sent off in a World Cup, aged 17.
In the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, Song became the most capped player in Cameroon history. Although Rigobert Song was dropped as captain of the Cameroonian national team, from the World Cup/ African Nations Cup qualifiers by new coach Paul Le Guen, the combative Song was the image that defined the image of the national team. In 16 years with the national team, he has been to the African Nations cup, a record eight times ( serving as Captain in five competitions excerpt in South Africa 1996, Burkina Faso in 1998 and Angola 2010). Song holds the record of most consecutive games played in the African Nations Cup- with 35 first team games. He only came in as a substitute during the Cameroon-Tunisia game played on January 21, 2010. His record as the highest number of games played in the competition stands at 36 games (a total of 3201 minutes). Song won the nations cup twice in Nigeria 2000 and Mali 2002 and losing to Egypt in the finals of Ghana 2008.
Song's father died when Rigobert was young. As such, he never really knew his father but nevertheless dedicates all his success to him, as his absence was a strong motivational force for him. His cousin Alex Song plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League side Arsenal. Although many reports state that Rigobert is Alexander's uncle, the former in an interview with www.mtnfootball.live stated that their fathers were brothers, thus making both players cousins.