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Can the roar of the “Indomitable lion” Cameroon be heard?

Sarah Almas: Cameroon is one of the most popular teams in the World Cup. Only with the 1990 World Cup success did they win the attention of the football world. However, in recent times, Cameroon has come down to the rank of a very ordinary team on the world football stage. However, people have a different interest in Cameroon.

Cameroon in international football:

Cameroon, known as the ‘Indomitable Lion’ of Africa, first participated in international football in 1956. At that time, the two teams were known as French Cameroon and Belgian Congo. Cameroon lost the match 2-3.

Cameroon’s first international tournament was the 1970 African Cup of Nations. Cameroon beat Ivory Coast 3-2 in the first match. Cameroon beat Ethiopia in the next match as well. And in the last match they lost to the host Sudan. Three teams in the group got two wins each. But Cameroon was eliminated in the goal interval and became third.

Cameroon has won the African Cup of Nations title five times. Egypt has won the most seven times in the African continent’s highest tournament. And the second highest title of Cameroon. Cameroon won the last African Cup of Nations in 2017. And in 2021, being third, they gave an end.

In 2003, Cameroon played in the FIFA Confederations Cup. In that event, Cameroon’s group included Brazil, Turkey and the United States. In their first match, they beat the 2002 world champions Brazil 1-0 in a big surprise. In the next match, they beat Turkey by the same margin. And in the last group match with a goalless draw with the Americans, they advanced to the semis. Colombia lost 0-1 to Cameroon in the semis. However, in the final, the hosts could not compete with France. So the Indomitable Lions have to be satisfied with being runners-up.

Cameroon’s Olympic team won the football gold in 2000.

Cameroon’s World Cup surprise:

Cameroon’s World Cup debut in 1982. They have proved their indomitable mentality in the first season. Did not lose a single match. Draw three consecutive matches against Peru, Poland and Italy. The first two matches were scoreless. Paul-Georges Ntep scored a goal against Italy in the last group match. Cameroon withdrew from the group stage with equal points to Italy from three draws.

Cameroon returned to the World Cup held in Italy in 1990 for the second time. New history on average. Became the first African country to reach the quarter finals. 1986 champions Diego Maradona’s Argentina lost to Cameroon’s spirited football in the first match. Omam Biyik got the status of world star by scoring in that match.

Cameroon beat Gheorghe Hagi’s Romania. Despite losing to the Soviet Union in the last match, they entered the knockout stage as the best team in the group. Before Cameroon, Morocco made a surprise appearance in the knockout stage in 1986.

Cameroon beat Colombia 2-1 in the quarter finals. Rene Higuita’s Colombia was one of the most interesting teams in the world at the time. But a pair of goals from an ‘old lion’ Roger Miller shattered their dreams. 38-year-old Roger Miller’s goal celebration dance at that event is still the world’s best.

Many still cannot accept Cameroon’s loss to England in the quarter finals. At one stage of the game, Cameroon was leading 2-1. But the referee finally awarded two controversial penalties in favor of England. That’s why England went to the semis. Cameroon won the hearts of football fans around the world even though they left. It can be said that Cameroon was the target of victory for the “black people” in world football. Many still firmly believe that Cameroon could have won the World Cup trophy in 1990 if not for the enmity of the referee.

Cameroon has participated in five more World Cups since 1990. But could never pass the barrier of the group stage.

So far, Cameroon has played a total of 23 matches participating in the World Cup seven times. Four wins, seven draws and 12 losses. Cameroon’s players scored 18 goals in the World Cup and digested 43!

Cameroon’s World Cup Hero-

Roger Milla scored the most five goals for Cameroon in the World Cup. He was 43 years and 3 days old when he scored against Japan in 1994. He is the oldest goal scorer in the World Cup. His number of goals for the national team is 43 in 77 matches. Mila has been the best footballer of the year in Africa twice. He has been the best footballer of the African Nations Cup twice. He was also the best goal scorer in 1986 and 1988. In 2007, the Confederation of Africa recognized him as the best footballer of 50 years. Won ‘Golden Foot’ in 2014. In 2006, the French government awarded him the highest state honor. He has played in several French teams including Monaco in club football.

François Omam-Biyik, the hero of Cameroon’s historic victory with Argentina, has played the maximum 11 World Cup matches. Like Roger Milla, he also played three World Cups. Scored 26 international goals in 73 matches for the country. Won the African Cup of Nations in 1988.

Cameroon legend Eto’o:

Samuel Eto’o is Cameroon’s best footballer of all time. Who is equally known to football fans of this era. He has been the African Footballer of the Year for a record four times. He has jointly played the second highest 118 matches for the country. The maximum number of goals is 56.

Football scholars also consider Eto’o as the best African football player of all time. Joining Real Madrid’s junior team at the age of 16, Ito achieved major success in Barcelona from 2004-09. He won one for Real Madrid and four Champions Leagues for Barcelona. Won 16 club trophies. He won two African Cup of Nations and an Olympic gold medal for the country.

Apart from Barcelona and Real, he beat Leganes, Espanyol, Mallorca, Inter Milan, Sampdoria, Chelsea, Everton. He finished his career in the Qatar club in the 2018-19 season.

Eto’o scored 371 goals in 764 matches in club football. In the 2005-06 season, he won the Spanish top scorer ‘Pichichi’. Eto’o owns the highest 18 goals in the African Cup of Nations.

Other Greatest:

Robert Song has played the maximum 137 matches for Cameroon. Played maximum four World Cups for the country. He has made his place in history as one of the best right backs in Africa. Won the African Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. Played in the 2008 final. He was also an important member of the team in the 2003 Confederations Final. Played in Liverpool, West Ham, Galatasaray in club football.

Patrick should also be included in the list of Cameroon’s best. Played in 1998 and 2002 World Cup. He has 33 goals in 55 matches in the country’s jersey. In 2000, he was considered the best of the continent by the Confederation of Africa and the BBC. Won two African Nations Cups. He was the best scorer of the 2002 season.

In addition, goalkeepers Thomas N’Kono, Jeremy Soremi, Emmanuel Kunde, Theophile Abega and Joseph-Antoine Bell should also be kept in the ranks of Cameroon’s all-time greats.

Road to Qatar:

Cameroon got a place in the play-offs after leaving Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Malawi from the ‘D’ group of the African region. Five out of six matches were won. The only loss was against Ivory Coast. Against 12 goals in six matches, the number of defeats is three.

In the play-offs, Cameroon faced Algeria, one of the powerhouses in Africa at the moment. Although Cameroon lost the first leg match 0-1 in their own field. However, in the second match, they beat Algeria 2-1 on their own ground. And with the advantage of away goals, they got a place on the main stage of the World Cup.

Cameroon in tough group:

Five-time champion Brazil is Cameroon’s opponent in the ‘G’ group of the World Cup. Besides, they have to face the two talented teams of Europe, Switzerland and Serbia.

Brazil is now the number 1 team in the FIFA ranking in Cameroon’s group. The Swiss are 15th and Serbia is 21st. On the other hand, Cameroon is ranked 43rd by FIFA out of the 5 African teams that came to the World Cup. Rankings don’t always tell the truth, that’s right. But at the moment, Cameroon is far from a world power, not even among the best in Africa. Cameroon was also absent from the last 2018 Russia tournament. All in all, the mighty lions of Africa are not doing very well at the moment.

Cameroon’s first opponent in the World Cup is Switzerland on November 24. These two teams have never met before.

They met once in June 2010 against Serbia. Cameroon lost the match 3-4. The two teams will face each other in the World Cup on November 28.

Brazil and Cameroon will meet on December 2. This team has met six times. Cameroon beat Brazil only once in the 2003 Confederations Cup. And lost the remaining five matches. Brazil also won the 1994 and 2014 World Cups.

Strength of coach and team:

Robert Song, one of the best footballers in the country’s history, is the coach of Cameroon. Since 2016, he has been working for the age group of Cameroon. He took charge of the main national team in February 2022. Brought it to the main stage of the World Cup. Cameroon has played six matches under him so far. His debut was lost to Algeria in the first match of the play-offs. In total, Cameroon have won two matches. And lost to Algeria, Uzbekistan and South Korea. The match with Jamaica was drawn.

Among the players who are currently playing in the Cameroon team, Eric Maxim Chupo Moting has to be kept a separate eye. The German-born forward scored 18 goals in 68 matches for the country. Played in Germany’s Harmsburg, Neumberg, Schalke 04, England’s Stoke City and France’s PSG. Currently in Germany’s best Bayern Munich. In this season, Bayern are showing their form by scoring 10 goals in 15 matches. If Qatar can maintain this form, good things can be expected. Nicolas Nkulu has the most experience in Cameroon’s current squad with 76 matches. Now playing in Greece after playing in France, Italy and England club football. He has played in two World Cups and three African Nations Cups as a defender. The new coach Roberto Song called him after five years in the 2022 Nations Cup. He will also be in the 26-man squad for the World Cup in Qatar, it is believed. Won the Nations Cup trophy in 2017.

The team’s captain is veteran Vincent Abubakker who currently plays in the Saudi Arabian League. Scored 33 goals in 89 matches for the country. He was the top scorer in the African Cup of Nations in 2021. Besides, Collins is very skilled as a defender.

In the midfield, Pierre Kunde and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa are the team’s mainstays.

In the upcoming World Cup, Song team will play in 4-3-3 strategy. His XI could be – Andre Onana (Goalkeeper), Collins Fai, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Nicholas Nkulu, Nouhou Tolo, Martin Hongla, Samuel Eto’o, Gaël Ondoua, Brian Mbuyomo, Vincent Abubakkar, Kari Toko Ekambi.

World Cup Squad:

Cameroon has already announced the final squad of 26-

Goalkeepers – Andre Onana, Devis Epassy, Simon Ngapandouetnbu

Defenders- J-Charles Castelletto, Enzo Ebosse, Collins Fai, Olivier Mbaizo, Nicholas Nkulu, Nouhou Tolo, Christopher Uhi

Midfield – Martin Hongla, Pierre Kunde, Olivier Ntcham, Gael Ondoua, Samuel Oum Gouet, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

Forwards – Vincent Aboubakar, Christian Bassogog, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Souaibou Marou, Bryan Mbeumo, Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, Jerome Ngom, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, Jean-Pierre Nsame, Karl Toko Ekambi


Cameroon has lost its golden age. Cameroon is desperate to return to the path of success. But there are very few people who are optimistic that they will be able to break the trap of the strong group in Qatar World Cup.