Brentford’s Mbeumo In Cameroon’s World Cup Squad

Recently capped Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo has been included in coach Rigobert Song’s 26-man Cameroon squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

The 23-year-old represented France at youth level before switching allegiance to the central African nation and won his first two caps for the Indomitable Lions in September.

“It’s a dream come true for me to go the World Cup,” Mbeumo wrote on social media.

Vincent Aboubakar, who featured as a teenager at the 2010 World Cup and also appeared in 2014, captains a squad that has three surprising inclusions and one shock omission.

Former international Song has left out long-serving centre-back Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, who helped Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title and started all but one match at this year’s Nations Cup on home soil.

He gave no explanation for the exclusion of the 31-year-old Belgian-based defender at a news conference to announce his squad on Wednesday evening.

The Indomitable Lions, who finished third at this year’s Nations Cup, had earlier drawn 1-1 with Jamaica in a friendly in Yaounde, playing with a side drawn from clubs in Cameroon.

Song surprisingly included uncapped teenaged Marseille goalkeeper Simon Ngapandouetnbu and two domestic-based players – Souaibou Marou and Jerome Ngom – who both won their maiden caps against the Reggae Boyz.

Nicolas Nkoulou and Bayern Munich attacker Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting have been handed the chance to play in a third World Cup for Cameroon, but Lens midfielder Jean Onana was omitted.

Nkoulou, 32, made a comeback to the team in September after a five-year absence, having retired from the side after the Nations Cup success in 2017.

Quarter-finalists in 1990, Cameroon will be playing in an African record-extending eighth World Cup finals and have been drawn in Group G alongside five-time winners Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland, who they will face first on 24 November.

Despite impressing at both the 1982 finals, where they were unbeaten, and in 1990, Cameroon’s recent World Cup is poor – with the Indomitable Lions having won just one of their last 15 matches dating back to 1994.

Cameroon squad

Goalkeepers: Devis Epassy (Abha Club), Simon Ngapandouetnbu (Marseille), Andre Onana (Inter Milan).

Defenders: Jean-Charles Castelletto (Nantes), Enzo Ebosse (Udinese), Collins Fai (Al Tai), Olivier Mbaizo (Philadelphia Union), Nicolas Nkoulou (Aris Salonika), Tolo Nouhou (Seattle Sounders), Christopher Wooh (Stade Rennes).

Midfielders: Martin Hongla (Verona), Pierre Kunde (Olympiakos), Olivier Ntcham (Swansea City), Gael Ondoua (Hannover 96), Samuel Oum Gouet (Mechelen), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli).

Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Al Nassr), Christian Bassogog (Shanghai Shenhua), Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting (Bayern Munich), Souaibou Marou (Coton Sport), Bryan Mbeumo (Brentford), Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu (Young Boys Berne), Jerome Ngom (Colombe Dja), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Besiktas), Jean-Pierre Nsame (Young Boys Berne), Karl Toko Ekambi (Lyon).