Cameroon: World Cup 2014 Team Preview
Best Ever Finish: Quarterfinals (1990)
Captain: Samuel Eto’o
Manager: Volker Finke
Cameroon qualified for the 2014 World Cup by topping their qualification group and dispatching Tunisia in the playoffs. They lost only one match during the group stage 2-1 to Libya, which as a result of a 93rd minute winner.
Their dominant display in the playoffs – a 4-1 aggregate win – would suggest Volke Finke’s team are one of the strongest teams coming from the continent.
They are a physically imposing team blessed with a strong spine, excellent fitness and pace in abundance. They too will tough opposition when playing in strong heat and humidity in Brazil. Sadly for the Cameroonians, their attack has been unable to replicate the potent goal scoring prowess of yesteryear. The defence too, despite boasting some pretty big names, can be very hit and miss.
To achieve something here they will be looking to the likes of Alex Song, Samuel Eto’o and Jean Makoun. They are experienced players who must influence matches and lead by example. Hopefully, some of the lesser known talents can capitalise on that, but a group stage exit looms.
Key Player – Samuel Eto’o
It’s probably fair to say Samuel Eto’o is no longer the destructive and deadly striker that he once was at Barcelona and Inter Milan. That being said, there have been glimpses of quality in his time at Chelsea. He is still a threat and as the captain of his country, there will be expectation on him to score goals and lead by example.
He is a player who become more defensively aware and tactically astute as the years have passed. As such Eto’o is arguably a lot more of a team player these days. A welcome sight when you consider the volatile relationship he has shared with the Cameroonian FA. Eto’o was banned for 15 games – later reduced to four - international games in 2011 after the team refused to play a friendly against Algeria. He also refused to play in an African Nation playoff game in August 2012 and lambasted the entire national team set-up.
But they’ve patched things up now, and Eto’o remains a good captain and potent finisher. A combination that will punish any opposition that gives him to much space or maybe not enough respect.