Cameroonian Football Association president, Samuel Eto’o, has charged the men’s national team, the Indomitable Lions, to wake up to the responsibility of playing for the national team.
The passionate speech from the record goalscorer for the Lions was captured in a video after a 1-0 away win over Burundi on Thursday.
Cameroon finished third in the 2022 AFCON which they hosted in January and against all odds pulled off a shock by staging a comeback win against Algeria to pick one of the five African World Cup tickets.
A clearly affronted Eto’o while addressing the players in French expressed his displeasure over the team.
“I am not happy. I don’t care who you play against; you represent Cameroon. I am not happy at all. In my time, I missed the World Cup because I knew what problems I had. Those problems won’t repeat themselves while I’m president.”
He went further that, there will be more competition to fight for shirts in the team.
“Places in this team will be earned. Nobody, I repeat, nobody has a place guaranteed in this team. You must do your job. Whoever comes here to wear this shirt must do the job, else he goes and I will be happy to have the children play.
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“I sat where you are years ago. I know some of you are thinking ‘he is st*pid’, but I tell you I was the best. I know why I failed.
“I will give you everything even my life so that you be in the best condition. I fight with everyone to put you in the best condition. You sit here and have no idea about the battles I fight for you.”
Eto, however, concluded that Cameroon should be the priority of every player in the squad.
“When we come here, it’s about Cameroon, guys. There’s nothing more beautiful than Cameroon for me. I will give my life for my country. I have great esteem for my country, and I shall arrive with or without you.
“If you want to be part of this journey, you must work. If it’s about what I saw out there today, I’m not sure any of you will be on the list.
“I need more because I dream to win the World Cup. All the problems I had as a player won’t repeat themselves. The first objective is to have a good group. I failed because that was absent even though we had great players. When this group will be happy together we will win.
“Now, I don’t care! Whoever wants to come here will do so by the rules of the Federation. Mind you I have some idea about football,” he added.
Eto’o won 118 caps in a 17-year career for his country and scored 56 goals. He won the Nations Cup twice-in 2000 and 2002 and also the football gold at the 2000 Olympic Games.
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