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Bamba, Souleymane (Sol)

2014-2016 (Leeds Player Details)(Player Details)

Central Defender

Born: Ivry-sur-Seine, France: 31-01-1985

Debut: Huddersfield Town (a): 31-01-2015

Height & Weight: 6ft 3ins 14st 2lb

Although born and raised in France, Bamba played international football for the Ivory Coast as his parents were born there. Bamba began his career with Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain at the age of fourteen. Despite twice having represented the Ivory Coast Under-Twenty team in the 2003 World Cup group matches at Al Ain City in Abu Dhabi UAE in a 1-2 defeat by Mexico on 29th November 2003 and in a 2-2 draw with the Republic of Ireland three days later and impressing for the Paris Sant-Germain youth and B teams, he failed to feature very much for the first team, however, he progressed to the St-Germain "B" side making two appearances in the 2002-03 season, followed by twenty-five the following season and sixteen in 2004-05, the season that he finally took to the pitch in one game for the first team. He did not make the first team in the following season and was loaned to Belgian team Brussels, but failed to make their first team either. He was released by the French club and went to Scottish Premier Division side Dunfermline Athletic for a trial at the start of the 2006-07 season and, after featuring as a substitute in a pre-season friendly against the Spanish La Liga side Osasuna, in which he gave a strong performance, he impressed the crowd and the club as well and signed for them in July 2006. He made his debut for the Scottish side on 29th July 2006 in a 1-2 home defeat by Hearts in the Premier League and soon established himself as a regular as Dunfermline did not have a good season and they finished bottom of the ladder and were relegated to the First Division. However, they did reach the Final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park on 26th May 2007, but he had to settle for a runners-up medal as Celtic got the only goal in the eighty-fourth minute. Bamba took part in Twenty-three League, Five Scottish Cup and two Scottish League Cup games, but did not find the net in any. He signed a two your extension to his contract at the start of at the start of the following season but it did not see the anticipated return to the top flight as they could only finish fifth, a long behind the top teams, as Bamba again went goalless in fifteen League, one League Cup, two C League Cup and two games in the UEFA Cup, which saw them draw 1-1 at home and go down 0-1 away to Swedish club BK Hacken. They had qualified for the UEFA Cup as Scottish Cup Runners-up, as Celtic had already qualified for the European Cup. He was allowed to go on trial with English Championship side Watford playing in a pre-season friendly for them at Boreham Wood, but after a fee had been agreed, Watford mysteriously pulled out of the agreement. He had only played one game of the 2008-09 season, in a 1-2 home defeat by Livingston on 30th August 2008, when he moved to Scottish Premier side Hibernian two days later. He had started thirty-five League games and come off the bench on four more occasions started three and made two substitute appearances in the Scottish Cup, made three starts in the League Cup and two each in the Scottish League C Cup and the UEFA Cup. Dunfermline had accepted bids of 50,000 from each of Scottish Premiership sides, Hibernian and Motherwell, and Bamba decided to go with Edinburgh side Hibernian, with Hibernian also commiting to a friendly match with Dunfermline in the following season. He signed a three year contract and his career with his new club got off to a bad start when he was sent off after receiving his second yellow card on his debut on 13th September 2008 at home to Dundee United which was won 2-1. However, he quickly established himself as a defensive midfielder rather than in his natural position of centre back, which improved his game and taught him not to go to ground in tackles, but he still retained his reputation for his tough and committed tackling, making twenty-nine appearances in the Scottish Premier League and one in the Scottish Cup as Hibernian finished in sixth position. The 2008-09 season was when he was first capped at full international level by the Ivory Coast. However, he had represented the Ivory Coast at Under -Twenty-Three level in the 2008 Olympics in China, being an unused substitute in the first two Group games in the 1-2 defeat by Argentina in the Shanghai Stadium on 7th August 2008 and the 4-2 win over Serbia at the same venue three days later, before starting and playing a full game three days in a 1-0 win over Australia which saw the Ivorians qualify for the Quarter Finals with a 1-0 victory at the Tianjin Olympic Sports Center Stadium. Three days later at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium there was another full game as the Ivory Coast were eliminated in a 0-2 defeat by Nigeria. His first full cap came on 19th November 2008 at the Ramat Ghan Stadium, Tel Aviv in a 2-2 Friendly draw with Israel, when he started and played a full game. His second came as a substitute in another friendly, on 11th February 2009 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Izmir, in a 1-1 draw with Turkey, when he played five minutes after replacing Steve Gogouri. His first competitive cap came on 29th March 2009 in the 2010 World Cup third stage (Group E) in a 5-0 home win over Malawi in Abidjan as once more he was a substitute for five minutes for Abdoulaye Meite at the Houphouet-Boigny Stadium. He brought his caps to five when he came on as an eighty-second minute substitute for Bakari Kone at the 4th August Stadium on 20th June 2009 in a 3-2 win over Barkina Faso in the 2010 World Cup Group E qualifiers. In the following season, new manager John Hughes moved Bamba back to a central back role from the start of that campaign. It was in that position that he scored his first goal in professional football, in only his second game, whe he found the net in a 3-1 win at Falkirk on 22nd August 2009. It was a feat that he repeated on 27th March 2010 against the same team at the same venue and in the same competition, in a season in which he made thirty starts in the Scottish Premier League and one each in the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup, as Hibernian finished fourth in the League and qualified for the UEFA Europa League qualifiers. Bamba had started to feature on a more regular basis in the national team as they qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He added a further eleven caps to bring his collection to sixteen during the 2009-10 season. The first of these was in an 0-0 away draw with Tunisia on 12th August 2009 in a Friendly, in which he again started but came off. This was followed on 5th September, by another 5-0 win over Burkina Faso in the 2010 World Cup, Group E, on 10th October, at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan, for another full game. Another full game, again in the World Cup qualifiers, followed at the Kamuzu Stadium, Malawi, where the home team were held to a 1-1 draw. A third World Cup tie saw him play another full game as Ivory Coast win 3-0 over Guinea on the 14th November 2009 at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, Abidjan. A 2-2 draw with Germany, just three days later in a Friendly saw him complete another full game at the Allianz Football Arena, Munich. There were two more friendlies just prior to the African Cup of Nations the first on 4th January 2010 saw a 1-0 win over Tanzania at the National Stadium, Dar Es Salaam with Bamba starting and playing the first half before giving way to Abdoulaye Meite, and three days later a 2-0 win over Rwanda at the same venue, in which Bamba scored his first International goal, opening the scoring five minutes from time, after replacing Abdoulaye Meite at half-time. He then took part in three African Cup of Nations games. The first two being Group B games with a 0-0 draw with Burkina Faso on 11th January 2010 and a 3-1 win over Ghana four days later. He played a full game in both of the games which were played at the National Chiazi Stadium, Cabinda, Angola. The win over Ghana saw the Ivory Coast progress to the quarter-finals in 24th January 2010 at the same venue where, unfortunately they were eliminated 2-3, after extra-time by Algeria, with Bamba playing the full game. His sixteenth cap came in another Friendly, with South Korea at Loftus Road on 3rd March 2010, which saw a 0-2 defeat and another full game for Bamba. His career at Hibernian was at its peak and his strong performances both a club and international level was drawing attention of bigger clubs both in England and France. Sven-Goran Eriksson had taken over as coach of the Ivory Coast national side from Vahid Halilhodzic, who had worked with Bamba at Paris St-Germain and given him his first appearances at club and international level, was sacked after the African Cup of Nations tournament and he too was a regular observer. The new coach had picked Bamba in his thirty-man World Cup squad in May 2010, but despite being included in the final twenty -three man squad, he did not figure in any of the games in the final. He did, however, win his seventeenth cap and scored his second international goal in Erikssen's first game in charge in a Friendly with Paraguay at Stade Joseph Moynat, Thonon Les Bains in France, in which he scored in the seventy-third minute of a 2-2 draw, after replacing Kolo Toure at half-time. Bamba, after having been to the World Cup, even though he did not take part in any games, angered Hibs manager John Hughes, by not presenting himself for the club's pre- season tour of the Netherlands in July 2010 and claiming he needed three weeks to recover from the World Cup. Hughes responded by dropping Bamba from the first team and it was not until the second leg of the UEFA Europa League game with NK Maribor that he returned to the team. He added two goals to his tally in a 2-4 defeat at Aberdeen on 23rd October 2010 and in his final game on 29th December in a 2-2 draw at home to Dundee United as he made sixteen League starts and one game each in the Scottish League Cup and the Europa League. On 2nd January 2011, with his contract at Hibernian due to expire at the end of the season, Bamba was happy to join English Championship side, Leicester City, for an undisclosed fee, thought to be around 300,000, and a contract subject to international clearance, because it saw him team up with his Former Ivory Coast international coach, Sven Goran-Erikssen. He had scored four goals in seventy-five starts for Hibs in the League and also started two games in each of the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup as well as one start in the Europa League. He became an instant crowd favourite at the Walker Stadium as in his first game he scored with his first touch of the ball in a 2-2 home daw with Manchester City in the F.A. Cup on 9th January 2011. Then in only his third League game he scored twice in a 4-2 home win over Millwall on 22nd January 2011. So the Foxes' fans soon took to his strength and quality in defence and his aerial threat at set pieces and he became the rock on which the Leicester defence was built as he made sixteen starts in the League and two in the F.A. Cup before the end of the season, in which Leicester finished tenth. The season had seen Bamba out of favour at international level as he gained one solitary cap, his eighteenth, on 17th November 2010 in a 1-3 defeat by Poland in a friendly at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan. The Foxes' fans were not the only ones impressed by Bamba's performances and after bids from Blackburn Rovers and Marsaille, which was reported to be 2million, Leicester, in September 2011, gave him an extended contract which tied him to the club until June 2014. The 2011-12 season saw Erikssen leave the club in October 2011 and new boss Nigel Pearson brought in Wes Morgan, and Bamba did not have the assured position he previously enjoyed, but even taking into account his time away on African Cup of Nations duty he stll managed thirty-two League starts and another four games from the bench, in which he scored his final goal for the Foxes in a 1-2 defeat at Crystal Palace on 2nd January 2012, as well as making one F.A. Cup start as Leicester finished ninth in the table. He returned to favour at international level as he regained his regular status in a season which saw him add ten further caps to make his total twenty-eight. They started with thre friendlies. The first being in a 1-1 draw with South Africa at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on 12th November 2011, which was then followed by two more both played in Abu Dhabi, the first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in a 2-0 win over Tunisia on 13th January 2012 and the second at the Al-Nahyan Stadium, where they defeated Tunisia by 1-0, three days later, in preparation for the African Cup of Nations. Those two games had shown the strength of the Ivory Coast defence in keeping two clean sheets and this was to be a feature of their campaign, in which they did not concede a single goal throughout the tournament.Their three Group B games were all played at Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Guinea, and Sudan were beaten 1-0 on 22nd January 2012, Burkina Faso 2-0 four days later and the same score saw off Angola four days after that, as they topped the group.In the quarter-final Guinea provided the opposition at the same venue on 4th February 2012 but a three goal margin saw them through to the semi-finals.Both the Final and Semi- Final were played at Stade d'Angondje, in Libreville, Gabon. A single goal was all that separated them from Mali on 8th February 2012, but in the final neither team could find the net even after extra time, four days later but Zambia went on to win 8-7 on penalties. Bamba who was booked in the sixty-sixth minute, did his bit converting the third of the nine spot kicks required to settle the issue, which Didier Drogba could have avoided had he converted the penalty awarded in the seventieth minute of normal time. Ironically both Drogba and ex-Leeds star Max Gradel both converted their attempts in the shoot-out, but Kolo Toure and Gervinho both failed with the eighth and ninth attempts. He gained his twenty-eighth cap on 29th February 2012 in a 0-0 home draw with Guinea at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan. He had played his final game for Leicester in a 1-2 defeat at Leeds United on 28th April 2012 and he was transferred to Turkish Super League side Trabzonspor on 18th June 2012 for a fee thought to be 750,000, on a three year contract, after scoring three League goals in forty-eight starts and four games from the bench and scoring one goal in three starts in the F.A. Cup. He made his debut for Trabzonspor in the first round qualifier in the Europa League in a 0-0 home draw with Hungarian side Videoton FC, making his League debut three days later in a 2-0 home win over Elasigspor. He also played in the away leg of the Europa League tie in which the club went down 2-4 on penalties, after extra time, when neither team could manage a goal. He went on to start seventeen League games and came from the bench on another occasion to play nine minutes, as international calls, suspensions and injuries restricted his availability. There were eleven more caps in the 2012-13 season and subsequent close season which started with his twenty-ninth cap in a Friendly on 15th August 2012 in a 1-1 draw with Russia at the Locomotiv Stadium, Moscow and then two games at home and away to Senegal in the 2013 Africam Nations Cup second round. Ivory Coast won both games, on 8th September by 4-2 at home at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, and the away game, on 13th October by 2-0 at Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar. His thirty-second cap came in a 3-0 Friendly win over Austria at the Linzer Stadion, Linz, on 14th November 2012, when he started but gave way to Ismael Traore at half-time. There was another friendly appearance in preparation for the African Nations Cup 2013 as the Ivory Coast defeated Egypt 4-2 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on 14th January 2013. There were two appearances in the Group D qualifiers which both resulted in wins at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Phokeng near Rustenburg, South Africa. The first on 22nd January being a 2-1 win over Togo and four days later a 3-0 victory over Tunisia. The quarter final was played at the same venue four days later, on 26th January, but they went down 1-2 to Nigeria.Three games in the Group C qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup then followed to take his caps to thirty-nine as on 23rd March 2013, Gambia were defeated 3-0 at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, in which he started but gave way to Kolo Toure in the seventy-ninth minute. On 8th June 2013, there was a 3-0 win over Gambia at the Independence Stadium, Bakau, in the reverse fixture, in which Bamba came on in the final minute as substitute for Serey Die. Eight days later there was a 4-2 away win over Tanzania at the Benjamini Mkapa National Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam in which he played a full game. The 2013-14 season saw nine League starts, one in the Turkish Cup and five in the Europa League, before he picked up an ankle injury which saw him miss the rest of the season for Trabzonspor. It transpired that he played his final game for the club in a 2-1 win over Antalyaspor on 29th December 2013 and it was not until the preparation for the final stages of the 2014 World Cup that he was able to return. Prior to his injury he had picked up another three caps, one in a friendly and two in the 2014 World Cup play-offs. The friendly had been at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, USA on 14th August 2013 which saw them soundly beaten by Mexico 1-4. The World Cup Play-offs were a two-legged decider against Senegal, which saw a 3-1 win in the home leg at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, on 12th October 2013 and a 1-1 draw at the Mohammed the fifth Stadium, Casablanca, Morocco on 16th November 2013. His next two caps came after his recovery from injury, and were in the preparation for the 2014 Group C Finals in Brazil. Both took place in the United States, on 31st May 2014 there was a 2-1 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Edward Jones Dome, St Louis, Massouri and four days later El Salvador were beaten by the same margin at the Toyota Stadium, Frisco, Dallas, Texas, as his caps had now reached forty-four. The campaign started well enough with a 2-1 win over Japan at the Itaipava Arena, Pernambuco, Recife on 14th June 2014, but two 1-2 defeats, by Columbia, at Estadio Nacional de Brasilia in Taguatinga on 19th June 2014 and Greece, at Estadio Governador Placido Castelo in Fortaleza five days later, saw them eliminated and his caps now totalled forty-seven. On 26th August 2014, after previously being released by Trabzonspor at the end of his contract, Bamba signed for Italian Serie A club Palermo on a three year contract. He made his debut for them on 24th September 2014 in a 3-3 away draw at Napoli, but it proved to be his only game for the club. He added two caps to take his total to forty-nine when he made two appearances in the 2015 African Cup of Nations, Group D qualifiers in a 2-1 home victory over Sierra Leone on 6th September 2014, when he came on as a sixtieth minute substitute for Brice Dja Djedje, at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, and in the 1-4 defeat by Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Yaounde, four days later, when he played the full game. He was a surprising omission from the twenty-three man 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Ivory Coast Squad for the finals in Guinea, which was ultimately won by them in a 9-8 penaty shoot-out with Ghana. On 23rd January 2015, Bamba was loaned to Leeds United for the rest of the season, with the option to purchase him at its expiration. He made his Leeds debut when he started in a 2-1 away win at Huddersfield Town on 31st January 2015 and he started in all of United's nineteen fixtures in the rest of the season. In that time he scored one goal, in the forty-eighth minute of a 3-0 away win at Fulham on 18th March 2015 and was several times made Captain in the absence of Liam Cooper. He was impressive for Leeds in his loan spell and Leeds took up the option to purchase, signing him on a permanent basis on 24th June 2015 in a two year deal, with an option of a third, for an undisclosed fee. After being captain in several pre-season fixtures Bomba was declared the official Leeds captain on 4th August 2015. He started the new season in fine form, winning the "Man of the Match" Award in the opening game in a 1-1 draw with Burnley at Elland Road on 8th August 2015. He was the regular centre-back until suspension saw him out of the team against Cardiff City on 3rd November 2015 followed by several weeks of injury and then being the odd man out in the three-way tussle for the two central defensive places with Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci, but the New Year saw himself re-establish himself as first choice, as he missed only a couple of games to the end of the season. He scored some handy goals, the first coming in a 2-2 draw with Derby County at home on 29th December 2015, then he got the opener in a 2-1 win at Blackburn Rovers on 12th March 2016, the opener in a 2-1 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on 19th April 2016 and the consolation goal in a 1-2 loss to Charlton Athletic in the final home game on 30th April 2016. Despite being club captain, it soon became apparent that he would have difficulty making the first team, and despite Liam Cooper being unavailable, he started on the bench with Toumani Diagouraga partnering Kyle Bartley in central defence for the first hour before there was a complete change of all positions for the final thirty minutes as United defeated Shelbourne 2-1 at Tolka Park on 13th July 2016. He did, however start in the second match, three days later in a 3-0 win over Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Park, when he gave way to Toumani Diagouraga on the hour mark as United maintained the practice that had prevailed in the first match. He was also chosen for the stronger of two teams that played the following weekend playing a full game in the 1-2 defeat at London Road by Peterborough United on 23rd July 2016. There was a full game, too, in the final friendly at Elland Road in a 2-1 win over Atalanta of the Italian Serie A on 30th July 2016. He led the team out at Loftus Road on the opening game of the season on 7th August 2016 in a 0-3 defeat by Queens Park Rangers, but Liam Cooper started at Fleetwood Town, three days later in the League Cup, but Bamba replaced him at Half-Time and maintained the position for the whole game in a 1-2 home defeat in the League by Birmingham City on 13th August 2016. It was to be the last time he played in a League game for Leeds as he was an unused substitute in the 1-1 draw at Elland Road with Fulham three days later, and in the 2-0 win at Hillsborough over Sheffield Wednesday on 20th August 2016. He played his final game for Leeds in the 1-0 win over Luton Town, three days later, in the League Cup, when most of the regulars were rested and he was not selected for the squad in the 1-3 loss at Nottingham Forest on 27th August 2016. He had started two League and one League Cup game and come off the bench once in the latter. On 31st August 2016 it was announced by the club "Leeds United can confirm that defender Sol Bamba has left the club by mutual consent due to personal reasons. Bamba, who was under contract at Elland Road until next summer, featured fifty-six times in all competitions for United during his year-and-a-half stay after arriving, initially on loan, from Italian outfit Palermo. The Club would like to thank Sol for his contribution throughout his time here and wish him the very best of luck for the future." It was not long before he resurfaced with Cardiff City of the Championship League, signing for them on 10th October 2016. He made his debut for them just four days later as Cardiff secured a 2-1 home win over Bristol City and Bamba scored their second goal in the sixty-seventh minute, to make him an instant favourite with his new club and their supporters. He was a regular, but missed four games after being sent off in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town on 10th December 2016. He scored a second goal in a 1-2 defeat at Queens Park Rangers on 4th March 2017, when he gave them the lead just on half-time. But, a month later, his season came to a halt with a goin injury after he had scored twice in thirty League starts and one more in the F.A. Cup.

League 49/25
F.A. Cup 2/10
League Cup 1/10