Henri Camara

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Henri Camara is a Senegalese striker who was born in Dakar, Senegal on 10th May 1977. Camara began his career with ASC Diaraf before moving to French side Strasbourg in 1998. He failed to make a single first team appearance at Le Racing during 1998/99, but still won his first international cap for Senegal on 28th February 1999, a 1-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Nigeria. Camara turned down the chance to represent Guinea, who he qualified to play for through his father.

Camara's club career really took off in 1999/2000 when he signed for Swiss outfit Neuchatel Xamax. The rapid front man netted 12 times from 20 in his first campaign. He started 2000/01 in similar fashion, earning himself a move to Grasshoppers a few months into the season. He picked a Swiss Championship winners medal for Grasshoppers before joining Sedan in 2001. Camara continued his prolific form in front of goal during 2001/02, earning himself a place in Senegal's 2002 World Cup squad. He scored two goals against Sweden in the second round, including a golden goal to send the Lions of Teranga into the quarter finals. Camara scored 14 goals during 2002/03, although that wasn't enough to save Sedan, who were relegated to Ligue 2.

Camara signed for newly promoted Premiership side Wolves in August 2003 on a four year deal. He made a slow start at Molineux, and initially struggled to settle in England. Camara scored just one goal in his first 23 matches, although that one was a very important winner in a 4-3 thriller against Leicester (Wolves had been 3-0 down at half time). He returned reinvigorated following the Africa Cup of Nations in February 2004. Camara scored six goals in his final nine matches of 2003/04, and was one of the Premiership's in form strikers. His 25 yard thunder bolt against Everton on 1st May was a particular highlight. The former Grasshoppers man was involved in controversy on 3rd April 2004 when he put in a rash challenge that took Southampton defender Jason Dodd out of the game. Ironically the two became team mates less than a year later. Despite Camara's good end of season form, Wolves were relegated. The club had hoped to keep him around, but the Senegalese international had no intention of playing in the second tier and refused to turn up for preseason training in July 2004.

After a failed bid from Bolton, Henri Camara signed for Celtic on a season long loan in July 2004. He was brought in by Martin O'Neill to replace the legendary Henrik Larsson, but struggled to fill the Swede's boots. He scored 8 times for the Bhoys, but his stay at Parkhead was cut short in January 2005 when Celtic agreed to terminate the loan deal early.

On 31st January 2005 Camara signed for Harry Redknapp's Southampton. Camara enjoyed an extremely successful run of individual form, despite suffering a third consecutive relegation. He scored a terrific goal on his debut at Birmingham on February 2nd 2005. Four days later he tore Everton's defence to shreds, scoring a goal and causing all sorts of problems with his lightning quick speed. Camara provided something different to a Saints side that had previously lacked any real pace. He scored a superb goal in the otherwise disastrous 4-1 defeat against Portsmouth on 24th April 2005, and hit a last minute screamer against Norwich six days later

In August 2005 Camara signed for Paul Jewell's Wigan Athletic, who had just been promoted to the Premiership. Aston Villa, Manchester City, Newcastle and Portsmouth had also been interested. The former Wolves man enjoyed another successful campaign in 2005/06. He made his debut on 14th August in a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea, and scored his first Latics goal four days later against Middlesbrough. Camara helped Wigan finish 10th and reach the League Cup final. The highlight of his season came on 17th December 2005 when he netted a hatrick in a 3-0 win over Charlton.

Camara had a stop start season in 2006/07, suffering with injury problems as Wigan narrowly avoided the drop to the Championship on the final day. He still managed 6 goals from 23 games. In 2007/08 Camara fell out of favour at the JJB following the departure of manager Paul Jewell. He joined West Ham on loan on 31st August 2007. Camara struggled to make any real impact at Upton Park however, failing to score a single time. He was part of Senegal's 2008 Africa Cup of Nations squad, where he netted in a 1-1 draw with South Africa on 31st January.

Camara returned to Wigan for 2008/09 and made a good start to the campaign with Carling Cup goals against Notts County and Ipswich. He also netted in league competition against West Brom and Everton in November. Camara joined Stoke on loan in February 2009, but failed to perform as expected.

In the summer of 2009 Camara trained with Hull City but wasn't offered a contract. In October that same year he signed for Championship outfit Sheffield United until the end of the season. Camara enjoyed a reasonable spell at Bramall Lane, scoring four times in twenty three appearances. He was released at the end of his deal however.

On 11th May 2010 Camara signed for Greek side Atromitos. His performances were just ok, but he did help the club reach the Greek cup final in 2011. On 19th June 2011 he signed a one year deal with Panetolikos. Camara was the club’s top scorer during 2011/12, but could do nothing to stop Panetolikos from being relegated. He was released from his contract in April 2012.