Former Arsenal defender and La Liga winner with Barcelona Alex Song is still playing Champions League football but this time with Arta Solar in Africa.
The midfielder got many football fans surprised when he joined the ambitious Djibouti team in November 2020. However, the team also includes several other players who have previously played in Europe, like Carlos Kameni, Diafra Sakho, Dany Nounkeu, and Alain Traore.
Song is the Arta Solar captain and played in the league in late December 2021 even as he divides his time between his club in east Africa and his family in the west.
He has some businesses in his home country of Cameroon, including a construction firm in Douala, a clothing line called Systeme Tchakap, and a tie to a school in Yaounde. Although Arta Solar failed to go past the opening round of the CAF Champions League, Song still found time to play against the Kenyan team Tusker in September.
🇩🇯🇨🇲 Just learned that former Arsenal and Barcelona man, Alex Song now plays his club football in Djibouti!— Anna Evans 🏴🇧🇷 (@AnnaGoleador) April 5, 2021
He’s doing pretty well for himself too as yesterday, he led his side, Arta Solar7 to the league title!
It was the first time in the club’s 41-year history! Not bad! 🏆👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/kjQ2V2z9ui
Song was primarily known as a fearsome ball-winner, but he could also pick a fine pass and was important in the attacking third. He typically plays as a holding midfielder, occasionally filling in at center-back.
The former Arsenal man became particularly significant to Arsenal in 2011, after Cesc Fabregas was sold to Barcelona, and Wenger gave him additional creative duties.
The Cameroonian contributed 11 Premier League assists as the Gunners finished third in the English Premier League that same year. Song also had the beneficial talent of setting up vital goals in crucial situations.
At the age of 24, Song seemed to be on track to becoming an Arsenal club legend but he decided to follow in the footsteps of Fabregas by accepting a £15 million ($20.6 million) transfer to Barcelona in 2012.
Song had to contend for a midfield position not only with his former teammate but also with Sergio Busquets. Although Song only played 65 games in two years in Spain, that year he also won La Liga and later revealed that his move to Barcelona was about money, not football.
He made this known during an interview in 2021 with Toronto Raptors basketball star Pascal Siakam, and he said: “Most footballers live beyond their means. I was at Arsenal for eight years but only began to earn a good living in the last four. That was because my salary went up a lot – but also because I came to realize what a waster I was.”