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Page last updated at 16:27 GMT, Sunday, 1 August 2010 17:27 UK

Cameroon great Rigobert Song quits internationals

Dutch players celebrate scoring their second goal

Watch highlights of Song's last game for Cameroon against the Netherlands

Cameroon defender Rigobert Song has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 34 after 137 appearances for the side.

The former Liverpool and West Ham centre-back was the first African to play at four World Cups.

Song also played 33 times at the Africa Cup of Nations during eight campaigns, and won the tournament as captain in 2000 and 2002.

"You have to know to quit when the time comes. I leave with pride," he said.

Song, who also played for Metz, Cologne and Lens, had started in every Cameroon game for a decade before new manager Paul Le Guen left the defender out of a friendly against Austria in 2009.

Song was then stripped of the national side's captaincy during the qualification stages for the 2010 World Cup, and played for just 17 minutes in the finals during the side's 2-1 defeat by the Netherlands.

Rigobert Song
Song played in nine World Cup matches over a 16-year spell

The central defender, who currently plays for Turkish side Trabzonspor, began his professional career at Tonnerre de Yaoundé in 1992, before making his international debut against Mexico in 1993.

He moved to Metz in 1994, and in the same year, appeared at his first World Cup, in the USA, as the Lions finished bottom of a group that included eventual winners Brazil and third-placed Sweden.

Following a short spell at Italian side Salernitana, Song moved to Anfield in 1999, where he played 38 times, then headed to West Ham in 2000.

In the same year he captained Cameroon to the first of two successive Africa Cup of Nations triumphs, before moving to Cologne and then Lens.

In 2003, he witnessed the death of Marc Vivien Foe, who died on the pitch playing for Cameroon in a Confederations Cup match against Colombia.

Following the tragedy, Song moved to Galatassary in 2004 before heading to his current club in 2008.



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see also
Cameroon omit Bassong from squad
23 Dec 09 |  African
Song left out of Cameroon team
12 Aug 09 |  African
Song sings uncle's praises
23 Feb 07 |  African
Foe's memory motivates Lions
16 Jan 04 |  African


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