Cameroon

The past
At Sydney 2000, Cameroon wrote their name large in the history of African footballing when they joined the select band of teams to have won the Men's Olympic Football Tournament. The feat surpassed even that of Roger Milla and Co, who famously earned Cameroon a quarter-final berth at the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™. The Indomitable Lion Cubs had some fine players back in 2000, with stalwarts like Patrick Mboma lining up alongside promising youngsters such as Samuel Eto'o and Geremi Njitap. The Olympic title was no stroll in the park, however, with Cameroon having to beat Ronaldinho's Brazil in the quarters (2-1 aet), Ivan Zamorano's Chile in the semis (2-1) and then Xavi's Spain in the final (2-2, pso 5-3).

The present
This will be Cameroon's third appearance at the event (after 1984 and 2000), and they will be looking to write their name in the record books once again with at least a place in the final, just as the senior team managed at CAN 2008. The team's main strength is in attack, and despite the fact that a number of new faces have been in and out of the squad, the mental and organisational qualities remain the same.

The future
The Lion Cubs are the last stepping stone on the way to the senior Indomitable Lions - Stephane Mbia, Alexandre Song and Landry Nguemo have all made it into the first team recently, while Christian Bekamenga, Alain Olle Olle Jr. and Aurelien Chedjou will be hoping to put in some good performances at the Olympics to make the step up.

Facts and figures

Former stars
Joseph Antoine Bell, Roger Milla, Emmanuel Kunde, Theophile Abega (1984), Patrick Mboma, Samuel Eto'o, Geremi Njitap (2000)

Key players
Stéphane Mbia, Landry Nguemo (midfield), Amougou Bikey (defence), Alexandre Song (midfield)

Qualifying statistics
Cameroon impressed greatly in the qualifiers, losing just two games while scoring 14 and conceding only five.

The numbers game
6-1: the heaviest defeat in the African qualifiers, inflicted by Cameroon on Guinea.