Ibrahima Sonko

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Ibrahima Sonko
İBRAHİMA SONKO.JPG
Sonko playing for Akhisar Belediyespor in 2012
Personal information
Full name Ibrahima Sonko
Date of birth (1981-01-22) 22 January 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Bignona, Senegal
Height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Playing position Centre Back
Club information
Current team
Akhisar Belediyespor
Number 5
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2002 Grenoble 47 (2)
2002–2004 Brentford 80 (8)
2004–2008 Reading 127 (8)
2008–2011 Stoke City 14 (0)
2009–2010 Hull City (loan) 9 (0)
2010–2011 Portsmouth (loan) 23 (1)
2011–2012 Ipswich Town 22 (1)
2012– Akhisar Belediyespor 57 (0)
National team
2008– Senegal 4 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 01:40, 11 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18 October 2008

Ibrahima Sonko (born 22 January 1981) is a Senegalese international footballer who plays professionally for Turkish Süper Lig side Akhisar Belediyespor.

Sonko has previously played in France and England for Grenoble, Brentford, Reading, Stoke City, Hull City, Portsmouth and Ipswich Town.

Club career[edit]

Reading[edit]

Sonko started his career at Saint-Étienne in France, before moving to Grenoble. He then joined English club Brentford in 2002, before leaving to join Reading on a Bosman transfer in 2004. He quickly became a fans' favourite, being nicknamed Superman for his prodigious leaps into the air to powerfully head the ball away. "Sonko is Superman" t-shirts have been made available by Reading.[1]

Sonko's first season in the Premier League was eventful. He received a straight red card against Aston Villa for tripping Luke Moore in the penalty area, meaning Reading lost 2–1.[2] Royals coach Kevin Dillon condemned the referee's actions, saying "The reaction of the referee was disappointing. It was a penalty, fair enough, but the referee sprinted across. He couldn't wait to get his red card out".[3]

He was the subject of further controversy in a match against Chelsea on 14 October 2006, when his challenge left goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini unconscious.[4] Cudicini was carried off the field wearing a neck brace.[4] On 22 December 2006 Sonko announced that he was scared after receiving death threats in connection with the Chelsea match.[5]

On 11 December 2006, Sonko signed an extension to his contract with Reading, keeping him at the Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2010.[6]

However, on 20 January 2007 he injured knee ligaments when he fell awkwardly whilst playing for Reading in their 3–1 home win against Sheffield United,[7] and it was subsequently announced that he would miss the rest of the 2006–07 season.[8] He returned to first team action on 20 October 2007 in a 4–2 defeat away to Blackburn Rovers.[9]

Stoke City[edit]

Sonko signed for Midlands-based club Stoke City for a fee of £2 million, which could rise £2.25 million depending on appearances, on 29 August 2008.[10]

On 1 September 2009 Sonko joined Hull City on a season-long loan deal. Sonko made his debut for Hull on 12 September 2009, in a 4–1 loss away to Sunderland.[11]

After an unsuccessful time at Stoke he was released at the end of the 2010–11 season.[12]

Ipswich Town[edit]

On 26 August 2011, Sonko signed for Championship club Ipswich Town on a one-year deal. He now lives in Ipswich.[13] He scored his first goal for Ipswich in a 3–1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on 1 October 2011.[14] On 20 April 2012 Ipswich announced that they would be releasing Sonko in the summer.[15]

Akhisar Belediyespor[edit]

Sonko joined newly promoted Turkish Süper Lig side Akhisar Belediyespor on a two-year deal on 15 August 2012.[16]

International career[edit]

Sonko was born in Senegal, but moved to France when he was six months and 14 days old. Despite this, Sonko initially elected to play for the Senegal national team. He represented Senegal at U23 level, but declined his call-up to their African Cup of Nations squad of 2006, opting instead to help Reading's ultimately successful bid for promotion to the Premier League.[17] He then announced that he would play for France if selected, but if called up to the Senegal squad before a French call-up, he would play for the African team.[18]

Sonko was named in Senegal's provisional 38-man squad for the African Cup of Nations, which runs from 20 January to 10 February 2008.[19] Senegal coach Henryk Kasperczak also included Sonko in his final 23-man squad making him the only uncapped player in the squad. He finally made his debut for Senegal on 12 January 2008 in their 3–1 win over Namibia in Dakar; he played the entire game in the centre of defence.[20]

Personal life[edit]

His cousin Bacary Sagna plays in the Premier League for Arsenal.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 25 March 2013[22]
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Grenoble 1999–2000 Championnat National 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2000–01 Championnat National 31 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 31 1
2001–02 Ligue 2 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 1
Total 47 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 47 2
Brentford 2002–03 Division Two 37 5 4 0 2 1 2 0 45 6
2003–04 Division Two 43 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 46 3
Total 80 8 6 0 3 1 2 0 91 9
Reading 2004–05 Championship 39 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 42 1
2005–06 Championship 46 3 2 0 4 0 0 0 52 3
2006–07 Premier League 23 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 1
2007–08 Premier League 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
2008–09 Championship 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3
Total 127 8 5 0 4 0 0 0 136 8
Stoke City 2008–09 Premier League 14 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 16 0
2009–10 Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
2010–11 Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 14 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 17 0
Hull City (loan) 2009–10 Premier League 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
Portsmouth (loan) 2010–11 Championship 23 1 1 0 3 0 0 0 27 1
Ipswich Town 2011–12 Championship 22 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 23 1
Akhisar Belediyespor 2012–13 Süper Lig 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 0
Career Total 344 20 14 0 12 1 2 0 372 21
A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Trophy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sonko is Superman T-Shirt". readingfc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  2. ^ "Aston Villa 2–1 Reading". BBC Sport. 23 August 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  3. ^ "Royals won't appeal Sonko dismissal". Yahoo!. 24 August 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  4. ^ a b "Reading 0–1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  5. ^ "Reading 0–1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "Sonko signs a new contract with the Royals". readingfc.co.uk. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 11 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "Reading 3–1 Sheff Utd". BBC Sport. 20 January 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  8. ^ "Sonko out for rest of the season". BBC Sport. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  9. ^ "Royals well beaten at Ewood". readingfc.co.uk. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2008. 
  10. ^ "Stoke sign Reading defender Sonko". BBC Sport. 29 August 2006. Retrieved 29 August 2008. 
  11. ^ Phillips, Owen (12 September 2009). "Sunderland 4–1 Hull". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 18 September 2009. 
  12. ^ "Potters Announce Retained List". stokecityfc.com. 31 May 2011. 
  13. ^ "Ibrahima Sonko seals one-year Ipswich Town deal". BBC Sport (BBC). 26 August 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Ipswich 3 – 1 Brighton". BBC Sport. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Ipswich Town to release defender Ibrahima Sonko". BBC Sport (BBC). 20 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Sonko moves to Turkey". TWTD.com (TWTD). 15 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "Sonko pulls out of Senegal squad". BBC Sport. 24 December 2005. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  18. ^ "Sonko seeks France call-up". BBC Sport. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2007. 
  19. ^ "Sonko provisional for Senegal". readingfc.co.uk. 27 December 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2007. 
  20. ^ "Sonko makes debut for Senegal". readingfc.co.uk. 15 January 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2008. 
  21. ^ "Sonko reveals Arsenal family link". readingfc.co.uk. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007. 
  22. ^ "Ibrahima Sonko". Soccerbase. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 

External links[edit]