Portrait 18 August 2023, 15:54

A European debut, the Olympic Games, Nkoulou… Who is Wilfried Singo?

A European debut, the Olympic Games, Nkoulou… Who is Wilfried Singo?
Arriving from the Italian club Torino, the Ivorian right back signed on Thursday with AS Monaco for a period of five years. Here's everything you need to know about him, before he plays his first minutes in his new colors.

AS Monaco has a new player in its defensive sector. Already strengthened this summer by the arrivals of Philipp Köhn, Mohammed Salisu and Denis Zakaria, now it’s Wilfried Singo who has joined the ranks of  the Principality Club. The right back, who can play as a wingback or in a back three as well, will be an additional asset in the style of play sought by Adi Hütter. Before he plays his first minutes in his new colors, here’s everything you need to know about the Ivorian international, who has just signed until 2028. 🗓

The eleventh Ivorian to play in Monaco 🇨🇮

When he makes his debut at the Stade Louis-II, Wilfried Singo will become the eleventh Ivorian to wear the colors of AS Monaco. He thus joins renowned players such as a 1988 French champion and 1991 Coupe de France winner, Youssouf Fofana (1985-1993), as well as Yaya Touré (2006-2007), among others. Note that the last Monegasque from the Ivory Coast was Jean-Eudes Aholou, who arrived in the summer of 2018.

Born on a special day 🎅

First of all, you should know that the right back is from the city of Ouaragahio in Ivory Coast, just like Serge Aurier and Franck Kessié. But more than his place of birth, it is especially his date that is unique since he was born… on Christmas Day, December 25, 2000. As an aside, another former player of the Principality club was also born a December 25: Laurent Bonnart.

My passion for football? It was quite natural because my father was a footballer, but not a professional, so it's a family passion and it was transmitted to me too. I tried to be like him and become a goalkeeper but when I saw my friends scoring goals and all that, I decided to become an outfield player.
Wilfried SingoAS Monaco defender

His beginnings as a goalkeeper 🧤

Football is a family story for Wilfried Singo since his father was a former non-professional goalkeeper and therefore transmitted to him a passion for the sport and this position. It was, however, short-lived since after a few weeks he decides to change and play higher up the field. “I tried to be like him and become a goalkeeper but when I saw my friends scoring goals and all that, I decided to become an outfield player,” he explained to Torino’s in-house media.

Arriving in Italy as a youngster 👶

Wilfried completed all his training in his native country at AS Denguélé, a club which, for example, helped to develop Seydou Doumbia and the former Toulouse player Ibrahim Sangaré. He was then spotted by Torino recruitment department, who decided to sign him during the 2019 winter transfer window. Thus, a player who has said he is “very close to his family” thus made the big leap to join Europe, at only 18 years old. .

His first match as a pro… in European play! 🇪🇺

Only having just arrived, Wilfried alternated between playing for the Primavera (U19s) and being on the bench with the first team. After six months of patience and work, he  played  his first minutes with the professionals on August 1 2019, during the second preliminary round of the Europa League, against the Hungarian team Debrecen. He replaced Armando Izzo in the 83rd minute and took part in Torino’s qualification for the next round (a 4-1 win).

Decisive in his first start 🎯

If his first appearance thus occurred six months after his arrival, he would wait almost an additional year to make his full debut. Played as a right wingback by Moreno Longo against Roma, he was full of energy and scored following a run of nearly 50 meters, where he notably showed his speed, before finishing from the right .

With this play, Wilfried Singo demonstrated all his qualities of power, physicality and also his pace, but nevertheless could not prevent a defeat for his team, who lost 3-2.

He could face his fellow Monégasques at AFCON 🌍

An international since June 2021, when he debuted against Burkina Faso, Wilfried Singo has won seven caps to date. Called up during the last two sets of fixtures, he is thus beginning to gain importance for Les Éléphants and has every chance of competing in AFCON next January… in Côte d’Ivoire. His team having qualified automatically, he could find some Monégasques there, such as Krépin Diatta and Ismaïl Jakobs and Senegal, or the Malian Mo ‘Camara and the Ghanaian Mohammed Salisu.

Photo: Icon Sport

He took part in a major international competition 🪐

However, this Africa Cup of Nations would not be his first international tournament since also he had the honor of representing his country at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where he helped Côte d’Ivoire reach the quarterfinals (defeat against Spain), finishing second in their group behind Brazil (0-0) but ahead of Germany (1-1). A massive achievement!

A former Academy player is his favorite player 🫂

On his arrival and slightly unsettled by this change in climate, Wilfried was then able to rely on some of his teammates, such as Nicolas Nkoulou, Soualiho Meité and Koffi Djidji. “They helped me to settle,” he said to the Turin club’s in-house media. Nkoulou, a player trained at the Academy even became his favorite player, alongside Eric Bailly, as he told Torino on their website. It’s a great recognition for a player who wore La Diagonale 87 times.