Football is the clear number one sport in Cameroon
. The national team has qualified for the FIFA World Cup finals five times (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002), and reaching the quarter-finals in Italy in 1990 was the Cameroonians best performance so far. Cameroon
's greatest success outside of Africa was winning the gold medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in Sydney in 2000, while the nation has won the African Cup of Nations four times (1984, 1988, 1998 and 2002) in twelve appearances at the final competition. Two coaches have had a major influence on football in Cameroon
: Jean Manga Onguene, who won over 100 caps as a player, took the senior national team to the FIFA World Cup finals on four consecutive occasions, and helped the youth team secure the African Championship. Today, he heads the Goal Development Office in Yaoundé; Jean Paul Akono was the coach of the victorious Olympic team. Cameroon
has regularly produced promising players, who have ultimately played professional football in Europe. Roger Milla (in France with Valenciennes, Monaco, Bastia, and Montpellier), Thomas Nkono (with Espanol in Spain) and Joseph Antoine Bell (in France with Bordeaux and Marseille) were the most famous players in recent years, who have since given way to Samuel Eto'o (Real Mallorca, Spain), Salomon Olembe (Marseille), Lauren Etame Mayer (Arsenal), Rigobert Song (Lens, France), and Gérémi Sorel Njitap (Chelsea). Football in Cameroon
suffered a cruel loss with the sudden death of 28-year-old international Marc Vivien Foé (whose clubs included Olympique Lyons and Manchester City). Foé collapsed during one of the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup France 2003 and later died in the stadium despite immediate attempts to resuscitate him.