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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 13:14 GMT
Indomitable Lions hunt for fifth title
Nickname: The Indomitable Lions
Coach: Winfried Schaefer
Captain: Rigobert Song
Cup record: Winners in 1984, 1988, 2000 & 2002; Qualified 13 times
Having won the last two tournaments, Cameroon are highly fancied to become the first country to make it three Cup of Nations wins on the trot - and take their fifth title overall.

Since beating Nigerian 3-1 in the 1984 final in Abidjan, Cameroon have put together an impressive record, winning three other Cup of Nations titles to match Egypt and Ghana as four-time champions.

Class runs throughout the squad and with many Europe-based stars in their ranks, big-match experience is not a problem for the Indomitable Lions.

Coach Winfried Schaefer has successfully combined new blood with experienced players, but still relies heavily on the likes of captain Rigobert Song and Geremi Njitap.

The Cameroonians will defend their title without that wonderful midfield worker Marc-Vivien Foe. He died during the Confederations Cup in June last year.


Did you know? Cameroon have beaten Nigeria in three Cup of Nations finals - 1984, 1988 and 2000.


Coach

One look at Winfried Schaefer suggests a man who must have been drunk the last time he went to the barber. But more importantly, the German coach has the task of leading Cameroon to an unprecedented third successive title.

Winfried Schaefer leads the defending champions
Winfried Schaefer leads the defending champions
Schaefer guided the Indomitable Lions to success in Mali 2002, but endured a disappointing World Cup later that year.

His appointment in September 2001 discontinued the country's long-standing tradition of employing French managers.

Key players

One of the reasons Cameroon are expected to retain their title in Tunisia is down to the experienced members of their squad, not least of all captain Rigobert Song.

Powerful and strong in the air, Song was the team's leader in their last two Cup triumphs.

Yet, the 27-year-old holds the dubious honour of being the first player to be sent off in two World Cups - 1994 and 1998.

The stage is set for the speedy Samuel Eto'o to offer further proof of his ability in front of goal.

Samuel Eto'o has another chance to shine
Samuel Eto'o has another chance to shine
The Real Mallorca striker has replaced Patrick Mboma as the team's attacker-in-chief and is coveted by some of Europe's top managers.

Geremi Njitap has found his feet after a big-money move to English Premiership side Chelsea last year. The 24-year-old midfielder has held his own in a star-studded squad, thanks to his industry and eye for goal.

One of the things that make him such a dangerous customer is his versatility. Although there is a suspicion that he lacks pace, Geremi packs a powerful shot in both feet and is equally deadly when it comes to free-kicks.


Verdict

As holders, Cameroon lack the competitive match practice of their group rivals, but they are a team feared for their massive physical presence.

It is hard to imagine the Indomitable Lions not being part of the final on 14 February and the signs look good for a successful defence of their crown.

Most of their squad have been there before and will expect to perform when the pressure is at its greatest.

A lot will depend on their ability to deal with the pressure of not only trying to retain the trophy, but also knowing they are the team everyone wants to beat.



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