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Alex Song announces international retirement
Cameroonian defensive midfielder Alex Song has announced his decision to permanently quit the national team, following his exclusion from the Indomitable Lions’ 2015 African Cup of Nations squad.
Song made his debut for the Cameroon national team just under ten years ago, in a friendly against Morocco, and has racked up 47 caps for his country since.
It is worth noting that Song’s last action for the national team was getting sent off in a 4-0 loss against Croatia in the 2014 World Cup group stages.
The 27-year-old moved to Bastia at the age of sixteen, and joined the Ligue 1 side’s youth team.
Just one year later, Song was promoted to the first team where he made 35 appearances in 2004/05, which would prove to be his only season with the club.
Bastia ended the season in the relegation zone and dropped into the second division, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger saw fit to take Song on loan for the following season.
Song signed a permanent deal with the Gunners the following season, and went on to make a total of 215 appearances for the 2003/04 Premier League champions.
After seven years with Arsenal, Barcelona came calling and despite Wenger’s efforts to dissuade Song from leaving, a £15 million fee was agreed ahead of the 2012/13 season.
However, Song struggled to break into the starting lineup ahead of Sergio Busquets, and the Catalans decided to loan him to Premier League outfit West Ham for the 2014/15 season; Song settled quickly into the Hammers’ first team and has been one of the Londoners’ top players so far.
Song’s decision to retire might have surprised a fair amount of observers, but it is suspected that his exclusion from the 2015 AFCON squad was the final nail in the coffin for his international career.