Alexandre Dimitri Song was born in Douala, Cameroon on December 9, 1987. In 2004, he moved to France to play professional football for Bastia when aged just 17. After making 32 appearances in his first season, he caught the eye of Arsenal, but despite joining the London outfit, towards the end of the 2005/2006 season he went out on loan to Charlton Athletic.
A year later he returned to the Gunners, and from 2007 started featuring regularly in Arsene Wenger’s line-ups. By the age of 24 he was a first choice defensive midfielder, and he has gone on to make more than 150 appearances in the Premier League, scoring seven goals.
Song is also an important member of his national team, for whom he has been an automatic choice since signing for Arsenal. He has more than 40 caps to his name, and was in the side that finished second at the 2008 African Cup of Nations, held in Ghana and won by Egypt.
Although he started out as a centre back, Song’s combination of powerful aerial play, rapid movements and solid defending also made him ideal as a defensive midfielder, a position where he is now regarded as one of the finest in the world. He is also extremely skilful and distributes the ball well. Being just 15 cm shy of two metres, he is also a valuable asset at set pieces.