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12:23 31st January 2013

by @OfficialQPR

A closer look at the R’s deadline day recruit …

CONGELESE defender Christopher Samba was born in Créteil, a suburb in the south-east of Paris, but chooses to represent the country of his parents’ origin, the Republic of Congo for whom he is capped 26 times at international level.

The 6’ 4” centre-back began his career with Sedan, a club in the north-east of France who flitter between the top flight and the second division. He made 26 appearances for their reserve side and just four for the senior team before - at the age of 19 - a broken fibula ended his hopes of earning a professional contract.

After recovering from that setback, his next move saw Samba arrive at German Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin. He made only 20 appearances during his time in Germany after struggling to break into the first team and was subsequently invited by ex-Rangers boss - then in charge of Blackburn Rovers - Mark Hughes for a five-day trial at Ewood Park.

Samba completed a £450,000 move to Rovers in January 2007 and went on to make 186 appearances for the Lancashire club, scoring 18 goals. Used mainly as a centre-back, Samba was also deployed on occasions as a lone striker.

At the start of the 2010/11 season he was appointed as club captain of Blackburn but just six-months later he was stripped of the armband after expressing his desire to leave Ewood Park. Despite that, he signed a new four-year deal in February 2011 before playing a vital role in securing Rovers Premier League status that season.

However, in January 2012 with Rovers again battling against the drop Samba submitted a transfer request. It was turned down but despite that Samba eventually joined Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala in that months transfer window.

The 28-year-old signed a four year deal - for a fee believed in the region of £12.3million - to link up with boss Guus Hiddink. He made 23 starts for Anzhi and scored three goals, but his time in the Dagestan region saw him a target of racist abuse by sections of the opposition support.

But now the powerful centre-back aims to boost QPR’s survival hopes, with R’s boss Harry Redknapp hoping Samba can add some much needed bite to his defence.

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