Rigobert Song Bahanag (born 1 July 1976) is a Cameroonian former footballer and current football coach. He was a member of the Cameroon national team between 1993 and 2010. As of February 2016, he is coach of the Cameroon's national "A" football team, a team composed of Cameroon-based players that competes in regional tournaments.
Known for his defensive skills, Song usually plays as a centre back but can also operate at right back. Internationally, he has 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 CAF 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.
Along with Zinedine Zidane, Song is the only player to have been sent off in two different World Cups, once against Brazil in 1994 and against Chile in 1998. He also holds the record as youngest player ever to be sent off in a World Cup, aged 17.
Nicknamed "Big Chief" by the Turkish fans, he is the uncle of fellow Cameroon defensive midfielder and Rubin Kazan player Alex Song.Close