The night may have ended in disappointment, however, it was still a special one for ex-Hibs and Motherwell midfielder Gael Bigirimana. He captained his country Burundi at the African Cup of Nations on June 30.

Burundi dropped out of their first AFCON tournament, following a 2-0 defeat to Guinea.

Bigirimana captained Burundi in their final group match (GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Bigirimana can still be proud of his efforts. He played every minute of his home nation’s campaign. They failed to pick up a point throughout the tournament, but battled valiantly, in what was their maiden tournament outing.

Midfielder Bigirimana may have opened the door to new things

The Burundi international, when all things are said and done, had a frustrating spell in the SPFL with Rangers, the Well and Hibs. He never really got going at any of them. Bigirimana is currently without a club after leaving Easter Road.


He did show, however, that he is a capable midfielder. Bigirimana has technical class and ability.

Bigirimana showed in his SPFL stint that he’s a technical midfielder  (photo by Ulrik Pedersen/Action Plus via Getty Images)

What he perhaps lacks in physicality is made up for by his capabilities on the ball, if he is deployed correctly.

Now he’s captained his nation and performed brilliantly at an international tournament, doors to new clubs may now have opened. There’s no doubting his talent, and on a free, he’ll be a decent signing for someone.

England is his likely destination, but he could still cut it in the SPFL. With a consistent run of games, Bigirimana could be an asset to a team like Livingston or St Johnstone.

Teams will want Bigirimana after his AFCON showing (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Regardless of what the future holds, Bigirimana should still be proud of his AFCON efforts.

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