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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Cameroonian Footballer Alex Song
Cameroonian football star Alex Song has been making a splash while playing at West Ham this past season, shaking up the Premier League once more while on loan from Barcelona. The midfielder is known for his aggressive style of play. But while his recently announced international retirement means Song won’t be playing for Cameroon national football team, nicknamed in French Les Lions Indomptables as many had hoped, the talented footballer still has a bright career ahead. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about Cameroonian Footballer Alex Song.

Song has dual citizenship

In addition to his Cameroonian citizenship, Song also holds a French passport. He represented France at the under-16 level before playing for Cameroon internationally.

He is first cousins with Rigobert Song

Song’s father passed away when he was 3 years old, and he was largely raised by his cousin, former footballer Rigobert Song. Rigobert was enormously influential in encouraging Alex’s football career, helping him to move to France at the age of 14 to join SC Bastia, a club that could help him hone his skills and move him to the next level.

Song is sometimes referred to as ‘Petit Song’

Due to his cousin’s Cameroonian football career, Alex was sometimes referred to as “Petit Song,” or “Little Song,” on the Cameroon side.

He has 27 siblings

Song is one of 28 children in his family – 17 girls and 11 boys altogether. He himself has children now as well – two sons named Nolan and Kaylian – with wife Olivia Song.

Song signed a professional contract at age 16

In 2004, Song signed a professional contract with French football manager and former footballer François Ciccolini at age 16. He went to play in Corsica for Ciccolini at the age of 13. Song said, “To go to Corsica was a very big change and I was just 13. My mum told the manager, ‘Life is not easy for him because he has lost his dad, I would like to protect him.’ But, I don’t know why, I had this good feeling with the manager, so I went.”

He was called up to the national squad at age 18

In 2005, Song was first called up to the Cameroonian side, Les Indominatble Lions. He went on to play in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, as well as the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and 2014.

He was the only Cameroonian named in the 2010 Team of the Tournament After representing Cameroon in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, Song became the only member of the team to be named to the Team of the Tournament. Cameroon was eliminated in the knock-out stage of the tournament by Egypt in a 3-1 loss.

He was fined $22,300 for violence during 2014 FIFA World Cup

In Cameroon’s second group-stage match against Croatia, Song was given a red card and sent off after he struck Mario Mandžukić. Cameroon would go on to lose the match 4-0, and Song later apologized to Mandžukić and the people of Cameroon for his behavior. FIFA fined Song $22,300 and issued a three-match ban from competitive international matches.

Song retired from international football in January 2015

Song played for Cameroon in the 2014 World Cup, but has not represented the Lions since he was sent off in the Croatia match. He was originally planning on rejoining the team for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, but was excluded from the team’s roster after flying back to Cameroon to discuss the possibility of playing in the tournament. Song announced his international football retirement Jan. 6, 2015 on his Instagram page.

He has expressed his desire to focus on domestic football

In his international retirement announcement, Song stated, “My love for my country will never change but I want to take time to focus purely on domestic football and start to rebuild my career at West Ham United. I wish Cameroon all the best and the team will always be in my heart.”

He has clashed with Samuel Eto’o in the past

While Song credits Michael Essien as one of his greatest role models in the football world, he didn’t always get along with everyone on the Cameroonian side. Cameroonian footballer Samuel Eto’o, considered the most decorated African player of all time, said this about Song: “There is no conflict between two stars since me, I am one of the best players in the world, whereas Song is not even part of the best players in Cameroon.”

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