Nickname: Indomitable Lions
FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking: 19
Cameroon will be making their sixth appearance in the World Cup, which is the most by any African nation. They also enter this tournament as the highest-ranked African nation. With expectations across the continent high for all African teams, some Africans have pinned Cameroon as their best hope for victory. They were placed in Group E alongside Netherlands (ranked 4th), Denmark (ranked 36th) and Japan (ranked 45th).
Cameroon was a little inconsistent in their qualifying campaign, which led to their coach being fired after a difficult start to the final group stage. They then hired Frenchman Paul Le Guen and proceeded to win their last four games in qualification. Le Guen brought order back to this team as he stressed professionalism on the field and off. He also has a tireless work ethic and demands the same from his players. His emphasis on physical soccer is something that historically fits the Indomitable Lions as well.
This team is led and now captained by world-class forward Samuel Eto’o. Eto’o is one of the best goal scorers in the world and has been playing for Cameroon since he was 14. He will be making his third World Cup appearance at the age of 29, despite the fact Cameroon didn’t qualify in 2006. If he continues to play as well as he has lately he could contest for the golden boot, which goes to the top scorer in the tournament.
Another key player for this team is defender Rigobert Song, who has been a key part of this team for the past 15 years. He has competed for Cameroon more than any other player but recently, under much controversy, lost the captain’s armband to Eto’o. Song is a very solid defender and will be a big key in how far the Indomitable Lions progress in the World Cup.
Another name to know for this team is midfielder Jean Makoun. Makoun is a defensive midfielder who loves to tackle and never stops running. Joining him in the midfield are talented youngsters Alexandre Song Billong and Stephane M’bia Etoundi.