Mboma: Cameroon youngsters will thrive without Eto’o
Cameroon legend Patrick Mboma has backed the Indomitable Lions’ new generation of youngsters to thrive in Samuel Eto’o’s absence.
A disappointing showing at the World Cup has prompted a transformation for the Central African giants. Veterans Pierre Webo and Charles Itandje have also been overlooked from Volker Finke’s post-Brazil squads, while Alex Song is also yet to make a return, having been sent off against Croatia during the summer.
Samuel Eto’o, the nation’s record goalscorer, has also decided to hang up his national-team boots.
Despite the presence of a number of unfamiliar faces, Cameroon have quickly put their World Cup woes behind them and have impressed in Cup of Nations qualification so far. The Cote d’Ivoire were smashed 4-1 while the Democratic Republic of Congo were also dispatched in Lubumbashi.
Following the team’s terrific showings, Mboma, who twice won the Cup of Nations with the side, has come out to show his support for Finke’s new generation.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he began, “Because of the great player he was, I will not say it’s a good thing that Samuel left,
“But since his retirement, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Vincent Aboubakar have started to show the world they are good quality players.”
Mboma also took a moment to suggest that it was Eto’o’s departure that had allowed the young players to step from the shadows and seize the opportunity.
“I was saying during the last one-to-two years that for players like Choupo-Moting and Aboubakar, it would be very, very difficult to be themselves with Eto’o.
“It’s not that Samuel didn’t want them to play well, it’s just he had such a big name. I think they have a lot of potential. For them, his retirement can be an important change.”