The Indomitable lions of Cameroon are definitely one of the African sides to look out for in the World Cup. Seeded in Group E alongside Netherlands, Denmark and Japan, Cameroon has the most realistic chance of at least making it through to the quarter finals.
With all the talent and depth the squad boasts, one man however has been tasked with the heavy burden of ensuring that the west African nation does not disappoint when the tournament kicks-off in 2 weeks’ time.
Samuel Eto’o is no doubt one of the world’s best strikers and the player who Paul Le Guen will build his squad around. Born 29 years ago in impoverished Cameroon, Eto’o’s story reads like a fairytale. Joining Real Madrid as a 16 year old in 1997, Eto’o could only train with the club’s second string team because he was still a minor. However, Real Madrid’s B side were demoted to division two.
Eto’o was forced to move because Spain’s Segunda Division B did not allow non-EU players in the league. Eto’o moved to lowly CD Leganes before moving to Espanyol. In 1999 Real Mallorca came calling and Eto’o signed with the club for 4.4 million Pound-a club record at the time.
It was while at Mallorca that Eto’o proved himself to be a top class striker. He spent 4 years with the club and left in 2004 as the club’s all time leading domestic league scorer with 54 goals. Fast Forward 6 years later and Eto’o emerges as one of the continent’s most decorated players’.
Eto’o has won the Champions League ( Europe’s premier club tournament) 3 times, scoring in 2 finals for Spanish outfit Barcelona. His most recent European medal came barely a week ago when his Italian side Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium to lift the coveted title for the 3rd time in their history.
It is this type of form that Le Guen will hoping Eto’o can replicate at the finals. Eto’o has featured 96 times for Cameroon scoring 44 goals in the process. That equates to about a goal every 3 games which is a pretty decent record by any record. This feat has also earned him the title of top goal scorer.
Coach Paul Le Guen learned a few lessons from their almost disastrous qualifying campaign and will be sure not to implement them effectively before his side meets heavyweights and favourites Holland. With the likes of Geremi, Alex and Rigobert Song, Webo, Jean Makoun, Achille Emana, Pierre Webo and Idriss Kameni the Indomitable Lions will truly be a force to reckon with.
Photo credit: from fabricadezvonuri