Cameroon have qualified for the World Cup eight times – more than any other African nation. They boast a rich pedigree of players, including Roger Milla and Samuel Eto’o, and now look to their current crop of stars to deliver a successful tournament in Qatar.
Standout names in the Cameroon 2022 football squad include André Zambo Anguissa of Napoli, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Bayern Munich and leading goalscorer Vincent Aboubakar who plays his football in Saudi Arabia.
The qualification phase was made challenging by not only being drawn in a group with Ivory Coast, but also losing to them on Match Day 2. However, a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture saw them claim top spot and face Algeria in the two-legged playoff decider.
Despite losing the home game by a single goal, a 1-0 victory in the second leg forced the game into extra time. When Algeria duly scored with just 2 minutes left, it seemed all was lost for the ‘Indomitable Lions’. That was until Karl Toko Ekambi incredibly netted with ‘120+4’ on the clock to seal Cameroon’s unlikely qualification on away goals.
Fans of Liverpool and West Ham will recognise Cameroon manager Rigobert Song who played in the Premier League from 1999 to 2002. His finest performances came for the national team however, and he still is the country’s most capped player with 137 appearances.
Song also brings his own World Cup pedigree to Qatar, having played in a Cameroon-record four World Cups from 1994 to 2010. However, he is also only one of two players to have been sent off twice in this major tournament (the other being Zinedine Zidane).
Song’s managerial history is quite limited, stemming only from the Cameroon youth sides and a short stint as caretaker boss in 2017-18. However, with such a momentous qualifying campaign behind him, all the impetus is with his side as they look to pull off yet another underdog display.
Vincent Aboubakar will captain the Cameroon 2022 squad at the 2022 World Cup, a rare honour for a striker but one that signifies his importance to the team. Fellow striker Ignatius Ganago supported this by commentating, “He’s someone who is a real leader in the dressing room. When it’s time to talk, he really encourages us.”
After making his first European transfer to France, Aboubakar really caught the eye after signing for Porto. Although things fizzled out for the 30-year-old striker in Portugal, a move to Beşiktaş reignited his career where he also won the Turkish championship. Now playing for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia, he’ll be the inspiration if Cameroon are to progress past the group stage.
Cameroon have been drawn in Group G for the upcoming World Cup tournament in Qatar and will play against Switzerland (24.11), Serbia, (28.11) and Brazil (02.12).
Cameroon qualified for the World Championships in the most dramatic fashion – scoring in the 124th minute of extra time to overcome Algeria on away goals.
Milla was the star of Cameroon’s famous run to the World Cup at Italia ’90, not just for his four goals but also for his cheeky dance celebration. He remarkably appeared at USA ‘94 at the grand age of 42 as well. However, following his retirement, Milla didn’t pursue a career in the game and instead now works part-time as an ambassador for African causes.