The Cameroon national team became the last participant of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. In early February, 2017 the Red-Greens won the African Cup of Nations which granted to the “Lions” the right to be qualified for the Confederations Cup.
This participation will become the third one for the Cameroon national team, before the “Lions” participated in the tournaments 2001 and 2003. At the turn of the centuries Cameroon had the very efficient national team under Samuel Eto'o, the leader of Barcelona. In the Confederations Cup 2001, their debut, the “Lions” failed to achieve some significant progress. The team took the third place in the group and won only one time over the Canada team.
The next tournament 2003 was held in France and brought the silver medals to the Cameroon team. However, first of all, fans of the whole world will remember that tournament because of the terrible tragedy happened to one of the players of Cameroon. During the second half of the semi-final Cameroon — Colombia match the midfielder of the African team Marc-Vivien Foe fell to the lawn during the game and in 45 minutes died in hospital, without regaining consciousness. The football player was only 28 years old… If to stop only on a sports component, then the national team of Cameroon performed in the tournament brilliantly. The Cameroonians surely won the first place at the group stage and beat the Brazil teams (that time World Cup Champions!), Turkey, and also played in a draw with the USA team. In the tragic semi-final match against Colombia the Cameroonians also won by the minimum score 1:0. In the final match the demoralized Africans looked quite adequately against the background of the hosts of the tournament, but nevertheless conceded into injury time. Thus, the national team of Cameroon, without any loss in the tournament within normal time, became the first of the African teams to win the Confederations Cup medals.
For the first time the Cameroon national team were able to get qualified for the World Cup 1982. After that the Cameroonians participated in the main football tournament six more times and missed only two tournaments (Cameroon is the champion according to number of participations in the World Cups among the African countries). On the account of the “Lions” there is another serious achievement — getting into the tournament quarter-final. That happened at the World Cup 1990.
At the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy the Cameroon national team got into the same group with the current World Cup Champions, the Argentina team, the silver medalists of the last EURO of the USSR national team and the Romania team. On paper Cameroon looked as an obvious outsider of the group, however, the “Lions” shamed all predictors. Already in the first match in the tournament Valery Nepomnyashchiy's players (in the early nineties the Cameroon team was trained by that most experienced Soviet expert) presented a super sensation and beat Argentina. In the second round the “Lions” surely beat the Romania national team and provided themselves with the first place in the group. For the first time ever they got into the World Cup play-off. But Cameroon did not stay with it. In the round of last 16 Cameroon, thanks to a double of its leader Roger Milla within injury time, wins over the Colombia team. Thus, Cameroon was the first of the African Continent teams to get into the eight strongest teams of the planet. In the quarter-final the “Lions” got on a losing streak. In persistent fight into injury time the team lost out to the English national team, though 7 minutes before the end of the normal time the national team of Cameroon was keeping a score of 2:1.
At the African Cup of Nations the Cameroonians also achieved considerable progress. The “Lions” won the main tournament of the African Continent five times (the second index after Egypt), they took the second place three times and one time they became the third. The victory at the last tournament in Gabon in 2017 became unexpected in many respects. The hosts, and also the Côte d'Ivoire, Algeria and Egypt national teams were considered as favorites of the tournament. However, the first two teams were eliminated at the group stage, and Egypt was prostrated by Cameroon in the tournament final.
The Cameroon national team is the most titled African team. In the history of the national team it is possible to outline two significant stages. The first of them falls on joint of the 80s and 90s. At that time in the national team Roger Milla, the legend of the Cameroonian football who spent in the national team over 20 years, was shining. For this period the Cameroonians managed to get into the quarter-final in the World Cup, and also to win the African Cup of Nations twice. The second period fell on the turn of the millennia when the Cameroon national team was led by one of the best forwards of the world Samuel Eto'o. During Samuel's performance for the national team the “Lions” won the African Cup of Nations twice, won the Olympic Games in Sydney, and also got the silver medals of the Confederations Cup.
The Cameroon national team goes to the Confederations Cup, like any African team, in the status of a “dark horse”. The “Lions” can both fail in the tournament and give a fantastic performance (like at the World Cup 1990). Nevertheless, considering the modest in names composition we may suppose that the Cameroonians won't be able to leave the group at the Confederations Cup.
Cameroon prefers to play athletic, power football with emphasis on defense. The team differs with the forward of Turkish Besiktas Vincent Aboubakar, and also the defender Lyon Nicolas N'Koulou. However, today there are no world-class stars in the Cameroon national team.