The new strong man appointed the manage the den of the Indomitable Lions was born on Thursday July 1, 1976. This was in Nkenglicock, a locality in the Nyong and Kéllé division of the Centre region.
Like millions of other Cameroonians, all the young Rigobert Song had were dreams and a hope to be someone in life. Years later, his dreams played out. Song accessed glory by becoming player of the national football team for close to two decades. This was for the period 1993 to 2010.
During that period, Song or Manyang as he came to be known, played in a record eight African Cup of Nations, leading Cameroon as captain in five of those competitions.
He is holder of the record of most consecutive games played in the AFCON (with 35 first team games). Song was part of the most popular Cameroon squad ever, winning two Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002.
His greatness is also demonstrated and lives on after his retirement at the global stage. Having played in in four World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010), he is also the most capped player in the history of the Cameroon national team with 137 appearances.
In addition to his amazing exploits and feats with the national squad, Song too was a force to reckon with across Europe.
He kicked off his professional career with French side, Metz and helped the club to win the Coupe de la Ligue in 1996. He went on to play in seven other top European sides, making a total of 417 appearances and scoring 11 goals.
The phrase retired but not tired describes Rigobert Song adequately. Despite hanging his boots, Song’s participation in football was far from over. Known as one of the best African defenders of all time, to grace the pitch, Manyang sought to pass his technical know-how onto the younger generation.
In 2017, he was named head coach of the lions A side, taking them into the 2018 African Nations Championship. In October of the same year , Song was named head coach of the under 23 lions. He was charged with taking them to the 2019 Africa competition.
While his coaching record is yet to be full of graces and landmarks as was his on-pitch career, many have expressed joy at his recent appointment as Lions coach. Others still, have expressed reservations, and wait to see him prove his worth before making any conclusions.