Cameroon - a guide to the World Cup hopefuls
Any mention of Cameroon in relation to the World Cup will always evoke memories of their 1990 campaign which included their group phase victory over Argentina and progress to the quarter-finals thanks to the goals of veteran striker Roger Milla.
Last Updated: 06/06/14 3:20pm
Cameroon’s current crop face a daunting task if they are to emulate the feats of the legendary side of 1990 as they tackle Brazil, Croatia and Mexico in Group A.
The quarter-final appearance of 24 years ago remains the African nation’s best World Cup performance and they have failed to progress from the group phase in their subsequent appearances in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010.
Volker Finke’s side negotiated a potentially tricky final play-off round meeting against Tunisia with a comfortable 4-1 aggregate success – courtesy of two goals from Jean Makoun - having emerged from a group phase which saw them up against Libya, Congo DR and Togo.
Cameroon’s Group A fixtures
1. Friday June 13: Mexico vs Cameroon – Natal (17.00)
2. Wednesday June 18 Cameroon v Croatia – Manaus (23.00)
3. Monday June 23 Cameroon v Brazil – Brasilia (21.00)
Coach: Volker Finke
Veteran German coach Volker Finke took charge of the Indomitable Lions from Jean-Paul Akono in May last year. Finke spent an astonishing 16 years in charge of Freiburg earlier in his career, guiding the club into the Bundesliga in 1994 and a third-place finish two years later. A spell with Urawa Red Diamonds was followed by a role as Cologne’s director of football.
Star man: Samuel Eto’o
The veteran Chelsea striker remains an iconic figure in world football and a threat at the very highest level, as his goals for the Blues this season demonstrate. The four-time African player of the year looks set to captain his side in Brazil this summer and has been identified by coach Finke as the nation’s key man. Eto’o may not be at the level of his time with Barcelona and Inter Milan, but he is still a potent penalty-box predator.
Tournament best: Quarter-finals 1990
Goalkeepers: Loic Feudjou (Coton Sport), Charles Itandje (Konyaspor), Sammy Ndjock (Fethiyespor)
Defenders: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (Tottenham Hotspur), Henri Bedimo (Lyon), Aurelien Chedjou (Galatasaray), Cedric Djeugou (Coton Sport), Nicolas Nkoulou (Marseille), Dany Nounkeu (Besiktas), Allan Nyom (Granada)
Midfielders: Enoh Eyong (Antalyaspor), Jean Makoun (Rennes), Joel Matip (Schalke), Stephane Mbia (Sevilla), Benjamin Moukandjo (Nancy), Landry Nguemo (Bordeaux), Edgar Salli (Lens), Alexandre Song (Barcelona)
Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Lorient), Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting (Mainz), Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea), Fabrice Olinga (Malaga), Achille Webo (Fenerbahce)
British based players: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (QPR) and Samuel Eto'o (Chelsea)
Sky Bet odds: 1000/1
Volker Finke’s men are considered outsiders of Group A and the sixth biggest priced side in the tournament. At 7/2 to qualify and 20/1 to do so in first place, expectations are low but some might be tempted to back them to progress with play-off qualifiers Mexico and Croatia standing in their way. Chelsea’s Samuel Eto’o will once again carry the hopes of his nation but, at 175/1 to be the tournament’s top scorer, it would take a substantial effort to lead them into the knockout stages.