The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have a new technical staff. It is led by Rigobert Song, holder of the absolute record 137 games in the Cameroon team.
The former captain of the Lions, since the end of his career, has led intermediate selections of the national team, including the selection of A ‘and that of U23.
Known for his defensive skills, Song usually played as a centre back but could also operate at right back.
Internationally, he played at a record eight Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and served as captain in five (the ones he was not captain for were South Africa 1996, Burkina Faso 1998 and Angola 2010), a record, and holds the record of most consecutive games played in the tournament with 35 first team games.
He has won two Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002. In 2009, Song was dropped as Cameroon skipper by new coach Paul Le Guen, who eventually appointed Samuel Eto’o as the new captain but later caused concerns as Song had never been on the bench in more than 11 years for Cameroon.
With 137 appearances, Song also holds the record of the most capped player in the history of the Cameroon national team and has played in four World Cups, in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010
Song started his professional career with Metz and helped the club to win the Coupe de la Ligue in 1996. After appearing at the 1998 World Cup, he joined Salernitana, newly promoted to the top-flight Italian Serie A.
In January 1999, he left Italy to start successive stints with Liverpool, West Ham United and 1. FC Köln, but after failing to hold down a first-team place, he returned to France to play for Lens. He stayed there until 2004 and moved on to Turkey, where he spent four years with Galatasaray, winning two Süper Lig titles and the Turkish Cup. Song then signed a contract with Trabzonspor in 2008, where he won another Turkish Cup and stayed until 2010
The former Liverpool player will have Frenchman Sébastien Migné as his first assistant. The latter has a great experience on the continent.
After having been the deputy of Claude Le Roy on the bench of the DRC and Togo, he led the selections of Kenya and Equatorial Guinea between 2018 and 2020.
Marumo Gallants, a South African Premier League club, hired him as coach in July 2021. Following a dispute with his Sporting Director, was fired in mid-October 2021.
After less than six months without work, he is now assistant coach of the Indomitable Lions, called up by Samuel Eto’o Fils, the president of Fécafoot.
The new staff of the Indomitable Lions is made up of three other former internationals, including Augustine Simo, assistant number 2; Souleymanou Haminou, goalkeeping coach and Raymond Kalla, Team Manager. The Cameroon team will benefit from the services of one of the best physical trainers in the world, namely Raphaël Fevre who notably worked at PSG.
Souleymanou Hamidou is former goalkeeper of Coton Sport de Garoua and now goal keeper trainer for the national squad.
The 48-year-old was a finalist in the Africa Cup of Nations in 2008. He was goalkeeper for Coton Sport de Garoua between 1999 and 2000, he spent most of his professional career in the Turkish Championship. He has played for Caykurizespor, Denizlispor and Kayzerspor, among others.
Rigobert Song and his team do not have time to celebrate their appointment at the helm of the indomitable lions following the upcoming football calendar.
The first big challenge is in a few weeks with the play-offs of the 2022 World Cup against Algeria.
Spectators are all glaringly watching ahead to see if Song can prove he is worth the task during the World Cup final round qualifiers games.
Bruno Ndonwie Funwie