Cameroon Profile

Major Honours Africa Cup of Nations (5), Olympic gold (1)
Year Founded 1956

Five-time Africa Cup of Nations winners Cameroon are one of the biggest names in African football, and a pioneer at the World Cup.

The 'Indomitable Lions' have qualified for the FIFA World Cup eight times, more than any other nation on the continent. They were also the first African nation to reach the quarter-final stage of the competition in Italia 1990.

But it's at the Africa Cup of Nations where they have enjoyed their most success, lifting the trophy five times.

With an Olympic gold medal also round their necks the national team has enjoyed great success since they were established, with legends such as Samuel Eto'o and Roger Milla helping them become a respected force in world football.

However, Cameroon have struggled for form in recent years with the exception of one standout tournament at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations where Vincent Aboubakar struck the winning goal late against Egypt.

Africa Cup of Nations success

The Cameroon national team played its first match in 1956 in a game that ended 3-2 to the Belgian Congo.

But in terms of positive results, Cameroon were slow starters. The first Africa Cup of Nations that they were successful in qualifying for was in 1970.

It was not a successful campaign for that group of players, with Cameroon falling in the first round.

Twenty-eight years after their first fixture as a nation, the side won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1984.

They secured the trophy by beating Nigeria thanks to goals from Rene N'Djeya, Theophile Abega and Ernest Ebongue.

They would win the Africa Cup of Nations four more times, in 1988, 2000, 2002 and the last time in 2017 beating seven-time champions Egypt 2-1 in the final.

Cameroon at the World Cup

Cameroon qualified for the World Cup in 1982 but failed to reach the second round. But it was at the 1990 World Cup where they really burst on to the world stage.

They beat defending champions Argentina 1-0 in the opening game of the tournament, where Cameroon went down to nine men after putting in some fairly brutal tackles.

They then beat Romania 2-1 to qualify for the second round, with ageing striker Roger Milla scoring two. Their dead rubber third group game ended in a 4-0 defeat to the Soviet Union.

Milla was on the mark twice again in their extra-time second round win over Colombia.

England awaited them in the quarter-final, and though Cameroon held a 2-1 lead until the last seven minutes of the game, two Gary Lineker penalties, in the 83rd minute and one in extra-time time, gave the former World Cup winners the victory.

After the high of 1990, Cameroon became a regular fixture at the World Cup, although they failed to have the desired impact.

Cameroon qualified again in 1994 for the USA World Cup, but were dumped out in the group stages. The only highlight was Roger Milla becoming the oldest player to score at the tournament at the ripe old age of 42.

They finished bottom of their group again at the France World Cup in 1998, and failed to qualify from the group in 2002 in South Korea/Japan.

Cameroon did not qualify for the 2006 World Cup and where the first team to be mathematically eliminated from the 2010 World Cup.

This was followed up by another poor performance in 2014 in Brazil where they only scored one goal and suffered three defeats.

They did not reach the World Cup in Russia in 2018 despite being the reigning champions of Africa, after being eliminated in qualifying by Nigeria, this was the beginning of the end for the coach at the time Hugo Broos.

Cameroon returned to world stage at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, after beating Algeria on away goals in the final round of qualifying with a 124th-minute winner from Lyon striker Karl Toko Ekambi.

Cameroon legends

The player with the highest number of caps for Cameroon is Rigobert Song, who is currently the manager of the national team.

Song was a legendary defender who mainly operated at centre-back but was capable of filling in at right back.

The defender earnt the nickname 'Big Chief' for the way he commanded respect both in the changing room and on the pitch.

He made his first World Cup appearance in 1994, and would become the youngest player to be given a red card in the competition.

He was also part of the Cameroon squads that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002.

Samuel Eto'o is Cameroon's all-time top goal scorer, with 56 goals in 118 caps.

He is considered one of the greatest African players of all time, and won the African Player of the Year award a record four times.

Eto'o played for huge footballing sides such as Barcelona where he won three La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues. He also won the Champions League with Real Madrid, and Serie A at inter Milan.

For the national side he flourished and was a part of the squad that won the 2000 Olympics Gold Medal and was also in the squads that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. He represented Cameroon in four World Cups and in six Africa Cup of Nations competitions.

Cameroon News