Football

Alex Song Joins Djibouti’s Arta Solar 7

Alexandre Song has been officially unveiled as AS Arta Solar 7’s newest player on Thursday morning, after signing for the club in the Djibouti Premier League.

The former Arsenal and Barclelona star arrived in the country on Wednesday and penned a two-year contract in Djibouti City to begin life as a player for the 2019-20 Caf Confederation Cup campaigners.

Alexandre Song has been officially unveiled as AS Arta Solar 7’s newest player on Thursday morning, after signing for the club in the Djibouti Premier League.

Song was a free agent since March this year when his contract with FC Sion in Switzerland was terminated for refusing a pay cut during the pandemic.

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“This is the eighth club that this Franco-Cameroonian midfielder has played for since the start of his career. He is here for the president of AS Arta Solar 7, Timoro Nickoss Tommy to not only make this team the flagship club of the Republic of Djibouti, but also to raise, in general, the level of the nation’s football.

“To improve the playing techniques of AS Arta Solar 7 so that this young team becomes invincible in international football tournaments, is one of the objectives of the president of this Djiboutian club, Tayoro Nickoss Tommy.

“To achieve this, he’s hired Alexandre Song, a footballer who has played at a very high level in major European teams, to the heart of this team.

“In any case, Alexander Song represents real added value for this Djiboutian club, because with him, AS Arta Solar 7 has a bright future ahead of it.”

The 33-year-old former Cameroon skipper is now a teammate of Ugandan goalkeeper Sulait Luyima who is the club’s first-choice custodian.

Luyima is a former SC Villa and URA FC goalkeeper who left Uganda for Somalia in 2016. He turned out for Somalia’s Elman SC before moving to Djibouti’s AS Ports in the 2017/18 season.

He was part of the AS Ports squad that featured in the 2018 and 2019 CECAFA Club Cup in Tanzania and Rwanda respectively.

Luyima joined Arta Solar 7 and won last season’s Djibouti Cup as well as the Djibouti Super Cup last month.

Association Sportive d’Arta is also known as AS Arta Solar 7 after a Djibouti-based solar power company Solar 7 for sponsorship reasons.

The team is coached by Moussa Mara and will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup.

 

‘I have signed a two year contract with Arta. This is an opportunity to promote Djibouti football,’ he tweeted.

The 33-year-old, who updated his followers With an Instagram on Wednesday, will wear the No 17 shirt at the club and his arrival saw fans flock to the streets to greet him.

As well as playing, local media report that the Cameroonian will oversee the team’s youth development – a decision made after he met with the club’s president.

Arta Solar 7 play in Dijbouti which is situated on the east coast of Africa. The country itself is currently ranked 185th in the world out Fifa’s 210-strong list, while they are 51st in Africa – with only Somalia, Seychelles and Eritrea ranked lower in the continent.

Last season the club won the Djibouti Cup and finished fourth in the country’s top flight. As a result of their victory in the former, they have qualified for the Confederation Cup, the second-tier African club competition, where they will face Egyptian side Arab Contractors in the preliminary round.The team is coached by Moussa Mara.

 

 

 

Despite having been without a club since March before joining Arta Solar 7, Song still hit hit the headlines in May when he opened up on his obsession with money and revealed he ‘didn’t think twice’ about leaving Arsenal for Barcelona once he learnt how much he would be earning at the Camp Nou.

Song made the £15million switch from Arsenal to Barcelona in the summer of 2012, after six years at Arsenal.

The move to Spain saw the midfielder earn a pay rise from £55,000-a-week at Arsenal to £70,000 at Barcelona.

‘I met Barca’s sporting director, and he told me I would not get to play many games,’ Song said, in an Instagram live chat with professional basketball player and compatriot Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors.

‘But I didn’t give Arsenal asecond Chance to renew my deal. I knew that now I would become a millionaire. When Barcelona offered me a contract, and I saw how much I would earn, I didn’t think twice.

‘I always say, a young man of 20 who drives a Ferrari is poor, because at 20 you haven’t done anything yet. But a man of 50 who drives in a Bentley, is a man to respect.’

Song, who signed for Arsenal in 2006 and made 205 appearances for the club, has also revealed how he was blown away by Thierry Henry’s car when he arrived at training.

‘When I arrived at Arsenal… I arrived at training then I saw the king arrived (Thierry Henry) with a car but damn, the car was a jewel and therefore I told myself that I needed the same car whatever the cost,’ Song admitted.

‘I swear that after two months I had my car returned, all my money was going to fuel and I told them give me a Toyota.

‘When I got to training, Titi asked me “but son where is the car”, I told him “this car it’s not at my level!”‘

After moving to Barcelona, where Song won one La Liga title and one Supercopa de Espana, he moved to West Ham in two separate loan spells, and the defensive midfielder has also appeared for Rubin Kazan.

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