Bamba with Côte d'Ivoire in 2012
|Full name||Souleymane Bamba|
|Date of birth||13 January 1985|
|Place of birth||Ivry-sur-Seine, France|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Playing position||Centre Back|
|2008||Côte d'Ivoire U23||2||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 December 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Bamba started his career in his native France with Paris Saint-Germain, but failed to establish himself in their first team and moved to Scotland to join Dunfermline Athletic in 2006. Two years later he was transferred to Hibernian, before joining Leicester City in January 2011. Bamba moved to Turkish club Trabzonspor in 2012.
Bamba began his career with Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 14. Despite impressing for PSG's youth and B teams, he only appeared in two first team games, in his final year at the club. A dispute with the PSG manager, Vahid Halilhodžić, caused Bamba to leave the club.
After an initial trial period, Bamba signed for Scottish Premier League side Dunfermline Athletic in July 2006. Jim Leishman later revealed that he had been intending to bring over another player from France on trial, but this deal fell through and Bamba's agent sent him instead. Leishman was immediately impressed by Bamba's physique and his performance as a trialist against John Hartson. During his short trial, Bamba also came on as a substitute in a friendly match against La Liga side Osasuna; he impressed by making several tackles and blocks.
Bamba was part of the squad that reached the 2007 Scottish Cup Final, but were also relegated from the Scottish Premier League. Bamba signed a two-year contract extension at the start of the 2007–08 season, but his performances were less impressive in the First Division.
Bamba was allowed to go on trial with English Championship side Watford in July 2008, appearing in a friendly for them against Boreham Wood. Soon afterwards, manager Jim McIntyre said he expected a fee to be agreed between Dunfermline and Watford, which would allow Bamba to move to the Championship side. Although the deal was thought to be almost complete, Watford pulled out for unknown reasons. A few weeks later, Dunfermline accepted offers of £50,000 from Scottish Premier League sides Hibernian and Motherwell.
Bamba chose to move to Hibernian, signing a three-year contract with the club. He was sent off on his debut for a second bookable offfence against Dundee United, but Bamba subsequently established himself in the Hibs first team. Despite being a natural centre back, manager Mixu Paatelainen praised Bamba's contribution as a defensive midfielder in a 2–0 win against Celtic in December 2008. Paatelainen commented further that he believed Bamba had improved as a player since his spell at Dunfermline, due to not going to ground when making a challenge. Bamba quickly became a popular player with the Hibs support due to his tough and committed tackling in this new role.
New manager John Hughes moved Bamba back to a central defensive role after the sale of Rob Jones in the 2009 close season. In his second match in this position, Bamba scored his first ever professional goal in a 3–1 win against Falkirk on 22 August. Coincidentally, he scored his second goal for the club at the same ground against the same team and in another 3–1 win, on 27 March. The Edinburgh Evening News reported on 8 May 2010 that Bamba's performances had "not gone unnoticed", with scouts from Fulham and Rennes due to watch Bamba. Sven-Göran Eriksson, the new manager of the Ivorian national team, was also due to watch Bamba ahead of the 2010 World Cup, but was not spotted at the last game played by Hibs in the 2009–10 season.
Bamba angered manager John Hughes when he failed to report for a pre-season tour of the Netherlands in July 2010. Bamba responded to this criticism by claiming that he needed a full three weeks off after returning from the World Cup, but Hughes dropped Bamba from the first team squad when he eventually returned to Edinburgh. Bamba was recalled for the second leg of a UEFA Europa League tie with NK Maribor at Easter Road, but Hibs lost 3–2 on the night and 6–2 on aggregate.
With Bamba's contract with Hibs due to expire at the end of the 2010–11 season, the club agreed a fee with Football League Championship club Leicester City for his transfer. The deal was confirmed on 2 January 2011, with Bamba joining for an undisclosed fee. He was reunited at Leicester with his former Côte d'Ivoire manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson. Bamba made his debut and scored a goal with his first touch of the ball in a 2–2 FA Cup draw against Manchester City on 9 January. He scored his first two league goals in a 4–2 win over Millwall on 22 January.
Bamba signed a new contract with Leicester in September 2011. After Eriksson was replaced by Nigel Pearson as Leicester manager, Bamba played less regularly, particularly after the club signed Wes Morgan.
Although he was born in France, Bamba represents his parents' homeland of Côte d'Ivoire. He featured in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, the 2005 African Youth Championship and the 2008 Toulon Tournament. Bamba was part of the Côte d'Ivoire squad that reached the quarter-finals of the 2008 Olympic Games.
Bamba won his first cap at full international level for Côte d'Ivoire in a 2008 friendly match against Israel, and his second cap as a late substitute in a friendly against Turkey. Bamba made his competitive debut in a 5–0 win against Malawi in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, again as a late substitute. This match was played in the aftermath of the Houphouët-Boigny Arena stampede, which killed dozens of Ivorian spectators. Bamba became a regular in the national team as they qualified for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Bamba scored his first goal for the team in a friendly against Rwanda, as part of the squad's preparation for the 2010 African Cup. He played in all of Côte d'Ivoire's matches at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, but the team suffered a quarter-final defeat by Algeria after extra time. The "uneasy" central defensive partnership between Kolo Touré and Bamba was cited as one of the reasons for their defeat. The tournament had been played in the shadow of the shooting of the Togo team bus, however, with death threats also being made against the Côte d'Ivoire team.
Coach Vahid Halilhodžić, who had worked with Bamba at PSG and given him his first appearances at club and international level, was sacked after the tournament. The new Ivorian coach, Sven-Göran Eriksson, selected Bamba in his provisional 30-man squad for the 2010 World Cup on 11 May. Bamba scored in Eriksson's first match in charge, a 2–2 draw with Paraguay. Bamba was selected in the finals squad of 23, but was dropped from the starting lineup, with midfielder Didier Zokora chosen to partner Kolo Touré in central defence.
Bamba resumed his partnership with Kolo Touré in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Côte d'Ivoire did not concede a goal during the entire tournament, but lost the final against Zambia on a penalty shootout.
- Scores and results list Côte d'Ivoire's goal tally first.
|1||7 January 2010||Benjamin Mkapa National Stadium, Dar es Salaam||Rwanda||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||30 May 2010||Stade Joseph-Moynat, Thonon-les-Bains||Paraguay||2–0||2–2||Friendly|
- As of 3 May 2012
- Dunfermline Athletic 2007–08 season | 2008–09
- Hibernian 2008–09 season | 2009–10 | 2010–11
- Leicester City 2010–11 season | 2011–12
- Marshall, Alan (10 November 2009). "Hibs ace Sol Bamba given green light to join Ivory Coast's World Cup bid". Daily Record. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Bathgate, Stuart (7 November 2009). "Hibs provide World Cup springboard as Bamba comes on leaps and bounds". The Scotsman. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Defender Bamba joins Dunfermline". BBC Sport. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- Collin, Iain (7 June 2010). "Leishman believes Bamba can use World Cup finals as a springboard". The Scotsman. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Barber, Jason (20 July 2006). "Dunfermline 0-0 Osasuna". www.dafc.net. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- "Bamba signs a new deal with Pars". BBC Sport. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "Dunfermline 0–5 Hamilton". BBC Sport. 20 October 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "La Bamba – Watford trial Pars soul". vitalfootball.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "Boreham Wood 1 Watford 3". watfordfc.co.uk. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "Watford close in on Pars' Bamba". BBC Sport. 28 July 2008. Retrieved 29 July 2008.
- "Hornets pull out of Bamba deal". sportinglife.com. Retrieved 22 August 2008.
- Dey, Graeme (1 September 2008). "Bamba on his way back to the SPL". The Courier. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Hibs sign Bamba from Dunfermline". BBC Sport. 1 September 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
- Paterson, Colleen (9 December 2008). "Hibs boss praises Bamba for his commitment". Edinburgh Evening News.
- "Powerful Bamba has made his presence felt at Easter Road". Press and Journal. 23 December 2008.
- "Falkirk 1–3 Hibernian". BBC Sport. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- Hardie, David (8 May 2010). "Sol Bamba: Fulham and Rennes set to watch Hibs defender". Edinburgh Evening News.
- Friel, David (10 May 2010). "Dundee United 0 Hibernian 2: Long and winding road to Europe". The Herald. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- Hardie, David (21 July 2010). "Hibs star Sol Bamba goes AWOL". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
- Pattullo, Alan (22 July 2010). "Sol Bamba furious with Hibs but says he needs a full three weeks off". The Scotsman. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
- "Hibs' Sol Bamba is punished for late World Cup return". BBC Sport. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2010.
- "Hibernian 2–3 NK Maribor (agg 2–6)". BBC Sport. 5 August 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
- "Hibernian defender Sol Bamba set for Leicester switch". BBC Sport. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
- "Bamba signs for Foxes". www.LCFC.co.uk. Leicester City F.C. 2 January 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- Fletcher, Paul (9 January 2011). "Leicester 2 - 2 Man City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 January 2011.
- "Leicester 4-2 Millwall". BBC Sport. 22 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "Sol Bamba agrees extended Leicester City deal". BBC Sport. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Leicester City's Sol Bamba linked to Turkey move". Leicester Mercury. 22 May 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Sol Bamba Trabzonspor'da!" (in Turkish). NTVSpor.net. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
- Trabzonspor complete signing of Sol Bamba from Leicester City for £750,000 Turkish-football.com
- "Souleymane Bamba". FIFA.
- Ralston, Gary (5 December 2008). "Exclusive: Ivory Coast call-up proves I was right to make Hibs switch, says Sol Bamba". Daily Record. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Hardie, David (6 February 2009). "Bamba's international call-up puts his Hibs role at risk". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- "Turkey, Ivory Coast draw 1–1". SI.com. 11 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Preliminaries". FIFA. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Miller, Derek (31 March 2009). "Bamba's despair after being caught up in Ivory Coast tragedy". The Herald.
- Préparation CAN 2010 : Les Eléphants battent les Amavubi, Fédération Ivoirienne de Football.(French)
- Hardie, David (25 January 2010). "Hibs won't get Sol back for Celtic showdown". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
- Wilson, Jonathan (20 June 2010). "Having learned to curb their natural instincts and contain opponents, the Ivory Coast's ageing 'golden generation' may yet be successful". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2010.
- English, Tom (23 May 2010). "Bamba and team-mates have experienced death threats, a stadium disaster and managerial upheaval. Now they've got to face Brazil". Scotland on Sunday. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "Ivory Coast cannot rely on Drogba goals - Eriksson". BBC Sport. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- Dunbar, Graham (30 May 2010). "Drogba nets as Ivory Coast draw 2-2 with Paraguay". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
- "Bamba Heading to World Cup". Hibernian F.C. official website. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Magowan, Alastair (12 February 2012). "Africa Cup of Nations: Zambia win dramatic shoot-out". BBC Sport. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- Sol Bamba career stats at Soccerbase
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sol Bamba.|
- Sol Bamba – UEFA competition record
- Sol Bamba career stats at Soccerbase
- Sol Bamba at National-Football-Teams.com
- FIFA profile
- Dunfermline Athletic F.C. profile at the Wayback Machine (archived April 20, 2008)