Many consider Cameroon the luckiest African team to be at this World Cup. The Indomitable Lions booked their ticket in the most dramatic of fashion with their last minute away goal away in Algeria seeing them through.
They will counter that they made their own luck, factoring in that not many go to Blida and escape unscathed.
Whatever the arguments and counter-arguments, they have made it to the tournament in line with their heritage. A seventh appearance means no other African nation had qualified for more World Cups.
In the latest appearances, the problem has been the performance in them. Cameroon teams have done little since the storied 1990 team, and they will be looking to use this tournament to restore some pride.
Samuel Eto’o, now the President of the Cameroon Football Federation, has been reiterating the importance of discipline and pride in the shirt. In doing so he’s seeking to avoid the bonus rows and indiscipline which have plagued past campaigns.
Recent form has been mixed, with a loss to Uzbekistan thrown in, but Rigobert Song will be comforted by the fact that he has a solid spike in his team from front to back .
The likes of Andre Onana, Nicolas Nkoulpu, Andre Frank Anguisse, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Vincent Aboubakar are no stranger to top level football, or indeed the World Cup.
Song will look to use that core as the springboard to achieve a realistic unattainable: reaching the Round of 16.
Unfortunately for Song and his Cameroon roster, Eto’o wants them to be the first African team to reach the semi finals.
Vincent Aboubakar – The top scorer of AFCON 2021, Aboubakar leads from the front with his work rate, playing with the frenzied nature of a man genuinely thirsty for goals. If they get their act together, Cameroon can become a good counter attacking side and Aboubakar will be an important player on the break.
Rigobert Song – A legendary figure of Cameroon and African football, Song has no other experience of being a head coach prior to being appointed to the top job in Cameroon. On the upside, he will argue he’s no rookie at this level: four World Cups to his name makes the competition familiar territory.
Their recent form, added with the inexperience of the coach, makes Cameroon an unfancied side in a group that includes Brazil, one of the tournament contenders, and Serbia and Switzerland, two sides fancied as outsiders. We’re sad to say it’s looking like a group stage exit.