We take a look at the top 10 Footballers to ever play for the indomitable lions.
10. Rigobert Song
No African has played at more World Cups than Song, who featured in four events and, equalling Zinedine Zidane’s ‘record’ was sent off in two.
As a powerful, commanding presence in the heart of Cameroon’s defence, he won two Nations Cups, and delivered a particularly influential series of performances in the 2002 event.
He drops down this list because, despite his standing and his international success, he flopped at Liverpool and didn’t have a particularly successful club career, with two Turkish titles the highlight.
9. Joseph-Antoine Bell
He’s not the most highly ranked goalkeeper on this list, but the good people at IFFHS would disagree with our overall classement, having named Bell as Africa’s greatest goalkeeper of the 20th century.
He was twice African Footballer of the Year and won the Nations Cup on two occasions.
With Union Douala he won the African Champions League, but his talented Marseille side failed to realise their potential between 1985 and 1988.
8. Jean Manga-Onguene
Onguene was Caf’s Footballer of the Year in 1980—arguably the finest season of his career—although perhaps his greatest achievement was transforming Canon Yaounde.
They won three African Champions Leagues and six league titles during his 16-year spell, making them continental giants, although he departed the international scene before the Indomitable Lions’ first truly successful team.
7. Patrick Mboma
The powerful Mboma was twice top scorer at the Nations Cup, putting him among a very elite group of African hitmen who could trouble the continent’s best defences on a consistent basis.
His nomadic club career was fairly barren in terms of silverware, but he won two Nations Cups and an Olympic gold with Cameroon, as well as clinching the African Ballon d’Or in 2000.
6. Theophile Abega
Nicknamed ‘Doctor’ due to his cerebral approach to the game, IFFHS named Abega as Africa’s sixth-best player during the 20th Century, a ranking which hints at the significant influence he had during the 1980s.
He won two Caf Champions Leagues with Canon Yaounde, and unlike Manga-Onguene, actually delivered the goods at international level too.
He was the Player of the Tournament at the 1984 Nations Cup, and scored in the 3-1 final victory over Nigeria.
Cameroon arguably didn’t see the best of Lauren, who retired from international duty before he truly hit the heights as one of Arsenal’s Invincibles.
Nonetheless, he was part of the Golden Generation that won two Afcon titles and the Olympic gold at the turn of the century, and won two Premier League crowns with Arsenal.
During his six-year spell with the Gunners, he also won three FA Cups, and added a fourth when he featured in Portsmouth’s unforgettable success in the competition in 2009.
Geremi was a valuable asset to three magnificent sides, now how many players in the history of the world game—let alone the African context—can say that?
As well as winning two African titles and the Olympic gold medal with Cameroon, he went on to win two Champions Leagues—and the Spanish title—with Real Madrid.
A versatile operator who brought technical class and magnificent set-piece delivery to the table, he also lifted the Premier League twice with Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. It’s a remarkable honours haul.
3. Thomas N’Kono
On four occasions, Caf ranked N’Kono among Africa’s three best players of the year, while the stopper won the African Ballon d’Or on two occasions, one of only two goalkeepers to win the award (and the only one to do so twice).
His rivalry with Jojo Bell may distract from his legacy, but it was N’Kono who kept goal in two World Cups—conceding just one in 1982.
He spent almost a decade with Espanyol and enjoyed great success with Canon Yaounde.
2. Roger Milla
Milla’s reputation as African football’s wild old man—think of his hip-swinging antics at the 1990 and 1994 World Cup—is in danger of detracting from his quality, and the legacy he’s left behind him.
Milla wasn’t just a grandpa who knew how to find the net!
Beyond being the oldest player to score at a World Cup, he’s also a two-time African Footballer of the Year and was named by Caf as Africa’s Player of the Century.
He won two Afcons and while he never won a major league, he scored consistently in Cameroon and France.
1. Samuel Eto’o
Eto’o stands alone as Cameroon’s greatest player, and arguably Africa’s top footballer of all time as well.
After being part of the Indomitable Lions’ magnificent side of the turn of the century, he went onto enjoy immense success in Europe with Barcelona and Internazionale.
He became part of an elite group of players to win the Champions League with two clubs back to back when Mourinho’s Inter clinched the title in 2010—Eto’o’s third crown—while he’s also Cameroon and the Afcon’s top scorer.
Goals are the currency of football, and Eto’o is a master.