At 22 years of age, the Valenciennes left-back, who can also play in left midfield, must almost feel like he is dreaming. Despite having represented France at Under-21 level, he announced his desire to represent Cameroon in April this year and a month later was a surprise choice in Paul Le Guen’s list of 30 candidates for South Africa. That high was topped on 29 May when he made the cut in the Indomitable Lions’ finalised squad, without having yet made a single appearance for the side. His ascent could hardly have been quicker.
“I’ve always said it: ‘I was born in Cameroon and I’m Cameroonian’,” he told FIFA.com recently. “I owe a lot to France but there’s no question for me. It’s always been Cameroon that I’ve wanted to play for.”
Initially a youth player for Metz alongside international team-mate Sebastien Bassong, he was loaned out to Tours in 2008 and made over 60 appearances in France’s second flight before attracting the attentions of top-tier outfit Valenciennes last summer. His selection for South Africa reflects how quickly he was able to make the step up.