Geremi Njitap

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Geremi
Geremi 2.jpg
Geremi playing for Newcastle United in 2007
Personal information
Full name Geremi Sorele Njitap Fotso
Date of birth (1978-12-20) 20 December 1978 (age 35)
Place of birth Bafoussam, Cameroon
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Playing position Right back, Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–1996 Racing Bafoussam 28 (5)
1997 Cerro Porteño 6 (0)
1997–1999 Gençlerbirliği 57 (9)
1999–2003 Real Madrid 45 (0)
2002–2003 Middlesbrough (loan) 33 (7)
2003–2007 Chelsea 72 (4)
2007–2010 Newcastle United 49 (2)
2010 Ankaragücü 12 (2)
2010–2011 Larissa 10 (0)
Total 312 (29)
National team
1996–2010 Cameroon 118 (13)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Geremi Sorele Njitap Fotso (born 20 December 1978), known simply as Geremi, is a Cameroonian former footballer. He was a versatile player able to play at right back, right midfield or center back, known for his power, combative style and free kick ability.[2]

The most successful periods of Geremi's club career came at Real Madrid and Chelsea, winning two UEFA Champions League titles with the first and a full set of domestic honours with the latter.

He earned 116 caps for Cameroon from 1996 to 2010, scoring 13 goals. He was a member of their squad for 7 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, winning in 2000 and 2002, as well as the World Cup in 2002 and 2010 and a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Geremi was born in Bafoussam, Cameroon. Raised into a footballing family, Geremi was encouraged to remain focused on school by his father, a former player. But as duties for his club and national teams pulled him away from his studies, he eventually decided to pursue his playing career. Geremi gave up on studying for his university entrance exams and began playing professionally.

Geremi began his career with a local side in Bafoussam, Racing FC, in 1995. A first-division club in the Cameroon's MTN Elite One, Racing had won the league championship the year before 16-year-old Geremi arrived and won the league cup, the Cameroonian Cup, in his only season as a professional at the club.

In 1996, Geremi was offered a contract with a Paraguayan first division club, Cerro Porteño, after being spotted playing for the Cameroon national team in Brazil. He played only a few months in Paraguay, before moving to European club football in 1997 at the age of 18.

Turkey and Spain[edit]

He spent two seasons in Turkey with Gençlerbirliği, racking up 57 appearances, before a move to Real Madrid materialised for him. In his three years at the Bernabeu, Geremi won two Champions League winners medals with the Spanish giants. At Real Madrid, Geremi was nominated for the Ballon d'Or of 2000. In a tribute to Geremi, four years after he left the club, ex-coach Del Bosque told Spanish newspaper AS Marca, that Njitap and Steve McManaman were the two most important players in his squad, because "together they kept the whole team united."[3]

Seeking more regular football, he moved to Middlesbrough for the 2002–03 season on a year's loan from Real Madrid where he enjoyed a successful season.

Chelsea[edit]

Geremi lining up for Chelsea in April 2007

After an impressive FIFA Confederations Cup campaign with Cameroon, Chelsea paid Real Madrid £6.9 million for him in July 2003,[4] and he went on to have an excellent first season at Stamford Bridge. Although towards the end of his career at Chelsea, under José Mourinho, he was played less regularly and when he was played he was put in his unpreferred position of right-back. However, Geremi was held in high regard by Mourinho. During an interview, he said about Geremi, "in my team I love to have Geremi on the bench because he’s a low-profile player who is ready to help, ready to fight for the team, ready to do the job I want him to do. If I need him to play right-back, he can play right-back. If I need him to play right-winger, he can play right-winger. If I need him to pick up a man and mark him out of the game, he does it". In his final year at Chelsea, Geremi scored the winning goal in a home match against West Ham United, a free kick from range. This turned out to be his last goal in a Chelsea shirt. His final appearance for Chelsea came against Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg, which went to penalties.[5] Geremi came on as an extra-time substitute and went on to have his penalty saved by Pepe Reina, and Chelsea ultimately lost.[6]

During his time at Chelsea they won the Premier League in both 2004-05 and 2005-06, and Geremi was eligible for a winners' medal both seasons as he made 13[7] and 15[8] appearances respectively.

Newcastle United[edit]

2007–08[edit]

Geremi signed for Newcastle on 6 July 2007 on a three-year deal, making him the fourth signing of the summer by Sam Allardyce.[9] He was appointed club captain for the 2007–08 season by then manager Allardyce, but lost the armband after new manager Kevin Keegan awarded the captaincy to Michael Owen on 20 January 2008.[10]

Geremi made his Newcastle debut on the opening day of the 2007–08 season in a 3–1 away win over Bolton Wanderers, he then went on to start the next six games for Newcastle before being an unused substitute in the League Cup 3rd round defeat at Arsenal.

In January 2008 Geremi departure for the African Cup of Nations with Cameroon. He returned to Newcastle in February after Cameroon finished as runner-ups. His first game since returning was on 23 February in a 5–1 away defat to Manchester United. His first start since returning came on 17 March 2008 in a 1–1 draw away at Birmingham City.

Geremi scored his first goal for Newcastle in a 4–1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on 30 March with a well-taken free-kick[11] and the second a header in the 2–2 draw at Upton Park on 26 April against West Ham United.[12] Geremi made 27 league appearances for Newcastle United during his first season at the club, starting 24 of the 27 league games scoring on 2 occasions with five assists.

2008–09[edit]

Geremi pictured in 2009

Geremi made his first appearances of the 2008–09 season coming on as a half time substitute in a 1–0 home win over Bolton Wanderers on 23 August 2008. In September 2008 Newcastle found themselves under yet another new manager,

As a result Geremi's game time dropped over the course of the season, with the midfielder making 11 league starts without a goal and contributing only three assists. Newcastle was relegated at the end of the season, finishing one point from safety after losing their final game of the season against Aston Villa.

In the 2009–10 season, Geremi's minutes dropped even more dramatically, with only three league starts in the first five months of the season.

He scored his third Newcastle goal and first of the 2009–10 season in a League Cup tie against Huddersfield Town on 26 August 2009.[13] Geremi left Newcastle in the 2009/10 January transfer window to join Turkish club Ankaragucu. Shortly after, though, Newcastle said the deal had not been finalized and the player remained at Newcastle. On transfer deadline day, 1 Feb, Newcastle finally agreed to terms and Geremi went to Turkey on a new 18-month deal.

Ankaragücü[edit]

On 31 January 2010, Geremi's transfer to Ankaragücü of the Süper Lig was announced; he signed a one-and-a-half year contract with the Turkish club.[14][15]

Larissa[edit]

On 25 August 2010, he moved to Greek club Larissa on a two-year contract.[16] On 11 January 2011, it was announced on the official site of Larissa that the contract with the player had been terminated.[17]

International career[edit]

Geremi began his Cameroonian international career with the youth teams, most notably in the 1995 U-20 Youth World Cup finals. Geremi started all four games for the national team before they lost to Argentina in the quarterfinals.

Geremi's senior debut came not much later, appearing in a match against Gabon in October 1996. From there, the midfielder went on to feature in four of Cameroon's six qualifiers for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, though he was left out of the finals squad after the nation qualified.

Geremi won Olympic Gold with Cameroon in Sydney in 2000 when he captained his country. He has also won two Africa Cup of Nations titles in 2000 and 2002 as they demonstrated their superiority not only in Africa but at world level too.

Geremi was part of the Cameroon side that qualified for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan he also played in all three of Cameroon's World Cup Final games in 2002 and scored a free-kick in a 2–2 friendly draw with England shortly before the tournament.

The squad failed to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, finishing one point behind qualifiers Ivory Coast in their table. Geremi started nine of the squad's 10 games at holding midfielder, though, and scored twice during the campaign.

The 2008 Africa Cup of Nations brought Cameroon's best finish since 2002, managing to reach the finals before losing 1–0 to Egypt. Geremi again played every one of Cameroon's games and was named to the Team of the Tournament for his performances.

Geremi earned his 100th cap for Cameroon on 11 February 2009, scoring a goal as part of a 3–1 friendly win against Guinea in Paris, a game in which he scored from a free kick.

Geremi played in 11 2010 World Cup qualifiers as Cameroon finished top of Group A in the third round of qualification, scoring one goal along the way.

In January 2010, Geremi and his teammates traveled to Angola for the 2010 Cup of Nations, falling to eventual champions Egypt in a 3–1 extra time loss.

Geremi was part of the Cameroon squad that took part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Playing in all three of Cameron's matches as they finished bottom of Group E.

Personal life[edit]

Geremi's father, Samuel, is a former footballer and Cameroon international in the 1970s. Samuel, a striker, was nicknamed "Poison Arrow" for his powerful shot and free kicks. Geremi's father was allowed five wives due to his status as a footballer, and Geremi has 17 siblings in Cameroon.[18]

Geremi's cousin, Pierre Webó, is also a professional player currently representing Fenerbahce in Turkey and is a teammate on the Cameroonian national team.

Honours[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

[19][20][21][22][23]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental[nb 1] Other[nb 2] Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cameroon League Cameroon Cup League Cup Africa Total
1995 Racing Bafoussam MTN Elite one 5 0 5 0
1996 23 5 23 5
Paraguay League Cup League Cup South America Total
1997 Cerro Porteño Primera División 6 0 4 0 10 0
Turkey League Türkiye Kupası League Cup Europe Total
1997–98 Gençlerbirliği Super League 28 4 3 1 31 5
1998–99 29 5 3 1 32 6
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Other Total
1999–00 Real Madrid Primera División 20 0 2 0 8 0 30 0
2000–01 16 0 0 0 9 0 5 1 30 1
2001–02 9 0 2 0 5 1 0 0 16 1
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe CS Total
2002–03 Middlesbrough Premier League 33 7 1 0 0 0 34 7
2003–04 Chelsea 25 1 1 0 3 0 10 0 39 1
2004–05 13 0 2 0 1 0 4 0 20 0
2005–06 15 2 3 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 22 2
2006–07 19 1 3 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 28 1
2007–08 Newcastle United 27 2 0 0 1 0 28 2
2008–09 15 0 0 0 2 0 17 0
2009–10 Championship 7 0 0 0 2 1 9 1
Turkey League Türkiye Kupası League Cup Europe Total
2009–10 Ankaragücü Süper Lig 12 2 0 0 12 2
Greece League Greek Cup League Cup Europe Total
2010–11 Larissa Superleague 10 0 1 0 11 0
Total Cameroon 28 5 28 5
Total Paraguay 6 0 4 0 10 0
Total Turkey 69 11 6 2 75 13
Total Spain 45 0 4 0 22 1 5 1 76 2
Total England 154 13 10 0 13 1 18 0 2 0 195 14
Total Greece 10 0 1 0 11 0
Career total 312 29 21 2 13 1 44 1 7 1 397 34

International[edit]

[24]

Cameroon national team
Year Apps Goals
1996 3 0
1997 9 0
1998 4 0
1999 4 0
2000 9 0
2001 8 0
2002 14 1
2003 9 1
2004 10 0
2005 6 3
2006 7 2
2007 5 1
2008 11 2
2009 9 2
2010 10 1
Total 118 13

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes the 2000 UEFA Super Cup (1 match).
  2. ^ Includes the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship (4 matches, 1 goal) and 2000 Intercontinental Cup (1 match).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Player Profile: Geremi". Premier League. 
  2. ^ "Player Profile". FIFA. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Del Bosque: "Geremi y McManaman hacían equipo"". AS.com. 28 March 2007. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  4. ^ "Geremi completes Blues move". Sky Sports. 16 July 2003. Retrieved 28 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "Geremi 2006-07". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (Agg: 1-1)". BBC. 1 May 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Games played by Geremi in 2004/2005". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Games played by Geremi in 2005/2006". soccerbase.com. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Geremi completes Newcastle move". BBC Sport. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2007. 
  10. ^ "Big Sam Names Toon Captain". Newcastle United F.C. Retrieved 11 August 2007. 
  11. ^ "Tottenham 1–4 Newcastle". BBC Sport. 30 March 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  12. ^ "West Ham 2–2 Newcastle". BBC Sport. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  13. ^ "Newcastle 4 – 3 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. 26 August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "Newcastle ace joins Ankaragucu". Ontheminute.com. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  15. ^ "Geremi resmen Ankaragücü'nde" (in Turkish). NTVSpor. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "Cameroon’s Geremi Njitap Signs For Greek Club Larissa". Goal.com. 25 August 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  17. ^ "Geremi leaves A.E.L."
  18. ^ "Toon ace Geremi's grief for sister". Evening Chronicle. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Geremi Career Stats". Football Database.eu. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Geremi Njitap". National Football Teams. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Geremi Europe Stats". UEFA.com. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  22. ^ "Geremi Turkey Stats". TFF. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  23. ^ "Geremi Chelsea Stats". Bounder Friardale.co.uk. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  24. ^ "Geremi Fotso Njitap – Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 

External links[edit]