The Cameroonian legend is widely known for his dominance in the defence line during his heydays as a footballer. He was named head coach of the national team in February 2022 and helped the Indomitable Lions qualify for the World Cup in Qatar. Rigobert Song Bahanag's stats and achievements make him one of the best defenders Africa has ever produced in football.
Song had a glittering football career, playing for some of the top teams in Europe alongside the best footballers. However, many people do not know about his career journey, family and near-death experience. Read all the exciting details about the African legend below.
Rigobert Song's profile
|Full name||Rigobert Song Bahanag|
|Date of birth||1 July 1976|
|Age||46 (as of November 2022)|
|Place of birth||Nkenglicock, Cameroon|
|Career||Football coach, former professional football player|
|Retired||1 July 2010|
|Current team||Cameroon national team|
|Parents||Paul, Bernadette Song|
|Spouse||Gabrielle Esther Nnomo Mballa|
|Children||Ronny, Hillary Veronique Liliane, Bryan, Yohanna Bernadette|
|Net worth||$4 million|
|Social media||Instagram, Facebook, Twitter|
Rigobert Song Bahanag (aged 46) was born on 1 July 1976 at Nkenglicock, southern Cameroon. His parents are Paul and Bernadette Song. Unfortunately, his father died when he was young; therefore, he was raised by his mother. The Indomitable Lions coach played football for local clubs during his early years. He even played against older footballers.
Rigobert Song Bahanag's family
Rigobert Song Bahanag's wife is called Gabrielle Esther Nnomo Mballa. The couple got married in 2005. Esther and her husband have four children (two sons and two daughters). Their children's names are; Ronny, Bryan, Yohanna Bernadette and Hillary Veronique Liliane. Rigobert Song's house is in Yaounde, Cameroon. His family used to stay in his home in Liverpool.
Are Rigobert Song and Alex Song related?
The Cameroon head coach is an uncle to former Arsenal and Barcelona star Alex Song. He was born on 9 September 1987 in Douala, Cameroon. Alex has 17 sisters and ten brothers. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Olivia, and they have two sons, Nolan and Kaylian.
The legendary defender began his early career playing for local clubs in Cameron, including Tonnerre, before moving to France in 1994 to play for Metz. He spent four years at the club and later joined Salernitana in Italy. In 1991, Liverpool's newly-appointed manager, Gerard Houllier, signed Rigobert to compete with Jamie Carragher.
Although the Cameroonian struggled at Anfield, he played a few games for the Reds in the Premier League between 1999 to 2001. He later joined West Ham for two seasons and FC Köln in Germany on loan. Song also played for Lens and Galatasaray before ending his career at Trabzonspor.
Bahanag's journey with the national team started in 1993. He made his senior debut for the Indomitable Lions against Mexico in the 1993 World Cup in the United States when he was just 17 years. The famous defender then became a familiar figure in the squad. He played in the 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cup editions.
The legendary Song is the first player to receive a red card in two consecutive World Cup tournaments (1994, 1998). He is the most-capped Cameroonian player, with 137 appearances from 1993-2010.
When did Rigobert Song retire?
The former defender hung his boots on 1 July 2010. He last played for Trabzonspor in Turkey, bringing to an end a remarkable career.
"Men pass, the country remains," Song said. "You have to quit things when you have to. I leave this team with pride and I think I have accomplished a duty."
Rigobert Song Bahanag's achievements
Besides being a great defender and leader on the pitch, the Cameroonian head coach also won multiple trophies. Below is a list of the titles he won.
|Trophy||Club||Number of titles||Year (s)|
|Coupe de la Ligue||Metz||1||1995-96|
|Süper Lig||Galatasaray||2||2005-2006, 2007-2008|
|African Cup of Nations||Cameroon||2||2000, 2002|
Rigobert Song Bahanag's coaching career
The experienced defender was announced as the head coach of the Indomitable Lions in February 2022 to replace Portuguese coach Antonio Conceicao. Before his appointment, he managed Cameroon's Olympic team from October 2018, alongside Simo and Kalla.
Bahanag coached the home-based national Cameroon side in the African Nations Championship (CHAN). He later helped the African giants knock out Algeria in the qualifiers to book Qatar's World Cup ticket.
Rigobert favours a 4-3-3 formation with short and vertical passes. He sets up his team to be solidly defensive and utilise the flanks. The tactician also prefers goalkeepers who are good with the ball at their feet. He optimises on dominating the opponent by keeping possession.
Rigobert Song Bahanag's salary
The Cameroonian coach earns around $353,000 annually. He is among the three lowest-paid managers in World Cup. Senegal's Aliou Cissé takes home around $321,000, while Jalel Kadri of Tunisia gets $134,500 annually.
Rigobert Song's net worth
According to sources, the tactician has made around $4 million fortune from his football career. He is one of the wealthiest soccer defenders from Africa.
In October 2016, the former Liverpool defender suffered a stroke and fell into a coma for two days as doctors struggled to save his life. During that period, rumours spread out that he was dead. The legend was at the Yaounde Central Hospital, where he survived death.
"It was a difficult situation. But now I am living in the present, I don't live in the past. What is important is that I'm in good health, I'm ok." Rigobert said.
You can access Rigobert Song Bahanag's photos and latest posts on his official Instagram account, which has 82.7K followers as of November 2022. The tactician also has Facebook and Twitter accounts that are not verified.
Rigobert Song Bahanag's stats, achievements, and leadership skills have inspired many players like his nephew Alex Song. He is one of the greatest African football defenders. His next test is leading his nation in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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