Cameroon had the worst possible run-up to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations with several big-name players withdrawing from the squad to concentrate on club football but, in their absence, the 23 players in the squad quickly bonded as a unit and on Sunday they won Caneroon its fifth African title with a resilient 2-1 comeback victory over Egypt.
Defender Ambroise Oyongo, who played every minute for his side in Gabon, said in an interview about the spirit of the Indomitable Lions and their ambitions for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia later this year.
Oyono said it was an amazing feeling to have gone so far in the tournament. “We worked very hard and it was difficult. We played against all the big teams in Africa. We played against Senegal, Ghana and now we played against Egypt (in the final). I think we deserved it. It was very difficult, but now we are champions. I think it is because we have fighting spirit, so we have to be happy, because we deserve it.”
He was asked when he thought that the dream of winning a fifth title could become reality while playing in the tournament. “After beating Senegal, we became more confident, because Senegal was the best team at this Africa Cup of Nations. So when we beat them, we were confident that we could win this competition.”
Oyongo is expecting huge celebrations when they return to Cameroon. “We are champions. It is not every year that you become African champions, Many players never achieve that, or some achieve it once in their life. Cameroon was not in the final for so long, we needed to win something. It has been 15 years, we have done nothing since then, so now the country is very happy and so we party,” he added.
“We don’t have big players, but we have the mentality. If you look at Germany, they also do not have the best players, but when you see them play, you feel that it is a group, that it is a team. And that is why they are so successful.”
Cameroon have now qualified for the FIFA Confederations Cup later this year in Russia from June 17 to July 2.
Said Oyongo: “That is huge. All the best teams from all around the world compete in the Confederations Cup. I think we will prepare well for that competition. We have a good team and if we prepare as we did for AFCON, we will be ready and we can do something there.”
Questioned about the the strengths he and his team displayed in Gabon, Oyongo said: “I think our main strength is the mentality of the team. We are a group, and if everyone accepts what the coach says, we can do anything.
“We need to be together and we need to be focused. We don’t have big players in the team, but we have the mentality. If you look at Germany, they also do not have the best players, but when you see them play, you feel that it is a group, that it is a team. And that is why they are so successful.”
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK