Cameroon coach Hugo Broos made a big decision when picking his team for the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations – and Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui was the beneficiary. The 6'3 centre-back had only won his first cap a few months earlier, but Broos handed him a starting berth in place of experienced stopper Nicolas Nkoulou, and what could have been a risky gamble soon proved a masterstroke.

Fielded alongside Adolphe Teikeu in the centre of defence, the Slavia Prague player was one of the major revelations at Gabon 2017. Helping to tighten up the Indomitable Lions' rearguard, he came away with a spot in the official team of the tournament, while also finishing top scorer for his side with two crucial goals. His first sealed victory against Guinea-Bissau in Group A before his powerful effort from a tight angle opened the scoring against Ghana in the semi-finals.