Cameroon – World Cup 2014 – Group A

CAMEROON

13-June Mexico (5pm GMT Natal)

18-June Croatia (11pm GMT Manaus)

23-June Brazil (9pm GMT Brasilia)

It will be the last bow at the grandest stage for Samuel Eto'o as he leads Cameroon to Brazil, but could they make it through a tough Group A? Varun Mathure analyses the African side's chances

Coach: Volker Finke

The veteran German tactician was hired in May 2013 with Cameroon doing well in their bid for World Cup qualification – and he was brought in with the sole objective of helping them perform better in the main tournament. Finke is best known for his lengthy 16-year spell in charge of Freiburg in Germany, and he has been regarded by many as one of the forefathers of Germany's current breed of entertaining football.

Why they could be dangerous

In the past few years the Indomitable Lions have been starved of international success. They failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 and 2013, and four years ago in South Africa they lost all three of their group games. With both Croatia and Mexico experiencing their own change of guard, the Lions can perhaps pounce on the chance and make it out of the group stage.

The world on his shoulders: Samuel Eto'o

For almost the last decade and a half, Cameroonian football has revolved around one man and that is Samuel Eto'o. This will be the final chance for the Chelsea striker to seek some form of international success after winning everything at club level. Eto'o has had well-documented problems with Cameroon's Federation and the Lions' fans will be hoping that in Brazil the team and their star attraction can concentrate solely on the job that awaits them on the pitch.

Did you know?

Cameroon have an affinity for displaying the fashionable side of football as evidenced by some of the kits the team has donned at the World Cup over the years. In 2002, they were barred by FIFA from wearing their sleeveless kit, while in South Africa they had a very trendy body-hugging outfit. For 2014, the Lions will be wearing a kit with cave paintings printed on the front of the traditional green home jersey.

Country legend: Roger Milla

The legend of Roger Milla and Italia '90 will be forever etched in the annals of footballing folklore. Milla, who was at the tail-end of his career at 38-years old, scored four goals en route to Cameroon's memorable journey to the quarter-finals. His joyous dancing celebrations have been imitated by hundreds of players ever since, and he still holds the record for being the oldest player to score in a FIFA World Cup for his goal against Russia in 1994, at the ripe age of 42.

Formation: 4-3-3

Finke made a reputation for his playing style back in the early 90s at Freiburg where he emphasised the qualities of the team over those of an individual. In the limited number of games under his stewardship, Cameroon have set up in a 4-3-3 formation with Jean Makoun and Alex Song being the midfield lynchpins and Eto'o being flanked on either side to provide width to the attacks.

Cameroon versus…

…Brazil P5 W1 D1 L3 F2 A8

…Croatia P0 W0 D0 L0 F0 A0

…Mexico P1 W0 D0 L1 F0 A1

Stats

Population: 22.5 million

World Cup appearances: 6

Best finish: Quarter-finalists in Italy 1990

Famous for: Making a name for Africa in football with their exploits in Italy. They set the benchmark for African football in 1990 and no African team has advanced further than the last eight since then.

Top Division: Elite One

How they got to the World Cup: Topped Group I in African qualifying and then beat Tunisia in the play-off

FIFA World Ranking: 50

Last World Cup Appearance: South Africa 2010 – Lost all three group games

Continental Honours: African Cup of Nations winners in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002

Most Capped Player: Rigobert Song (137 caps)

Leading International Scorer: Samuel Eto'o (55 goals)

Nickname: The Indomitable Lions