Football fans in Cameroon enjoy Europe’s elite club competition, the Champions League, but they will have particular interest in next month’s quarter-finals as Samuel Eto’o’s Inter Milan (Italy) have been drawn against Joel Matip’s Shalke 04 (Germany).
Many are expecting Eto’o, Cameroon’s captain, to continue firing on all cylinders as was the case in the eigth final game against FC Bayern Munich (Germany) when he scored once and made two assists to qualify his club. He is the joint leading scorer in the tournament.
However, the young Matip (not called up for Cameroon v Senegal) has been improving in his role as a midfield defensive maestro. He also plays as a central defender which means he may end up being the one to hold his national team captain in check.
Hopefully, Javier Clemente, the Indomitable Lions’ manager and his assistant Omam Biyick will be watching that game to note that Matip is as good as (if not better than) some of the players regularly selected for Cameroon these days.
The first-leg takes place in Italy on 5 April and the second leg in Germany on 13 April.
Another fixture of interest to Cameroonians following Friday’s draw will be the Tottenham Hotspur (England) versus Real Madrid (Spain) games.
Two Indomitable Lions play for Spurs: Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong. Whereas the left-back (Assou-Ekotto) starts every game for the north Londoners (except he’s injured or suspended), the centre-back (Bassong) has had tough competition from several world class defenders playing in his position.
It will surely be exciting to see Assou-Ekotto sprinting and dribbling down that left flank as has been most often the case this season. The first leg- will be at the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on 5 April and the return leg on 13 April at White Hart Lane, London.
The other fixtures include a spectacular clash between FC Barcelona (Spain) and Shaktar Doniesk (Ukraine). Both teams are stylish, prefer an attacking game and score lots of goals.
The all-English contest between Manchester United and Chelsea FC is already providing several blogs from the country’s football observers. Both teams met in the 2008 final of the competition won by United after post-match penalty kicks.