7 December, 2022

Mbeumo to go crazy if put in Cameroon’s first 11 at World Cup

Brentford forward Bryan Mbeumo says he will go “crazy inside” should he have the honour of starting a game for Cameroon at the World Cup.

The 23-year-old was called up for the finals in Qatar, where the Indomitable Lions face Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland, despite only making his debut in September.

Having called it a dream come true to contest football’s greatest event, Mbeumo would relish lining up for the anthems.

“I’ve always wanted to play a World Cup since I was young,” Mbeumo told BBC Sport Africa.

“Just to walk around the pitch with a big crowd and other stuff would be amazing. It’s going to be crazy inside me.”

Cameroon will play in the 40,000-capacity Al Janoub Stadium, twice, and the 80,000-capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium, which hosts the final itself on 18 December.

Mbeumo only recently chose to represent the central Africans after playing at various youth levels for France, where he was born, with his switch formalised just three months ago.

His father comes from Douala, where Mbeumo still has “a lot of family”, with other relatives in the capital Yaounde.

Douala is also the home city of four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto’o, who has led the Cameroonian FA since late 2021 and who played a key role in enlisting Mbeumo.

Prior to the Avalon-born Mbeumo committing his future to the five-time African champions, the pair went out for dinner in Brentford’s home city London.

“It was an honour for me just to be face-to-face with him and talk to him because he was one of the best strikers in the world,” he explained.

“He told me about the project, what we can do and I enjoyed this moment. It’s a big thing for someone like him to want you in his team.”

Eto’o amassed four Champions League and two African titles during his distinguished playing career, and Mbeumo says the former Barcelona star is aiming high after Cameroon lost their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final on home soil against Egypt in February.

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