2014 World Cup: Cameroon
Cameroon has been thought of as the gold standard of African football for a long while now, but will the Lions continue to show promise in the tournament or relinquish their stranglehold at the top of African football?
A veteran squad led by Samuel Eto’o sailed through qualifying, recording a mark of 4-1-1 and secured a spot in the World Cup over the likes of Libya and Congo DR. The team’s opponents in qualifying make it hard to determine what Cameroon is truly capable of, but the Lions possess a strong attack that could really shock some teams on the biggest of stages.
Even though the team has been the flag barrier for the African nation in the sport, Cameroon has only made it beyond the group stage once when the nation made it all the way to the quarterfinals back in 1990.
The Lions are pegged to finish bottom of their group, but don’t take Cameroon lightly as they possess the experience and attack prowess that can give teams fits. This is the kind of team that thrives on that grind-it-out mentality and can win ugly.
The team is led by three-time World Cup veteran Samuel Eto’o and a group of capable midfielders headlined by Alex Song. Eto’o has played for, and had success with, some of the most renowned clubs in the world, including Barcelona and Chelsea, but many have questioned how much he has left in the tank ahead of this World Cup. This tournament will either be Samuel Eto’o’s swan song or his comeback campaign as he looks to latch on to another good club side post World Cup.
The draw is not a favorable one for the Lions, but this side is more than capable of surprising some folks. Cameroon’s saving grace might just be the fact that they play Brazil last in group play, and in a game that could prove meaningless for Brazil, Cameroon just might get a result that could send the team through to the knockout rounds.
Cameroon has the experience and the talent to hang around in games, but frankly this team is too old to keep up with the likes of Brazil and Mexico for the full 90 minutes. Cameroon will be staring down an early exit in Brazil which will likely be the end of the country’s golden era in the game.
Greg Douglas is a soccer writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.