Cameroon Football Federation boss Samuel Eto’o has lauded the Indomitable Lions for their 1-0 victory over Burundi in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Thursday.
The performance was far from the best as Eto’o went in hard at the Cameroon players in a video that has since gone viral.
However, on Friday, Eto’o took to social media to congratulate the team, saying: “Bravo Lions for kicking off the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 qualifiers with a victory against Burundi, let’s keep up the momentum.”
This is a departure from the tone of his post-match speech to the players in the dressing room after Cameroon needed a Karl Toko-Ekambi free-kick to edge out Burundi.
“I am not happy,” he began. “I don’t care who you play against; you represent Cameroon. I am not happy at all.
“In my time, I missed the World Cup because I knew what problems I had. Those problems won’t repeat themselves while I’m president,” he added.
“Places in this team will be earned. Nobody, I repeat, nobody has a place guaranteed in this team. You must do your job. Whoever comes here to wear this shirt must do the job, or else, he goes and I will be happy to have the children play,” said the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea striker.
“I sat where you are years ago. I know some of you are thinking ‘he is stupid’, but I tell you I was the best I know why I failed. I will give you everything even my life, so that you be in the best condition. I fight with everyone to put you in the best condition. You sit here and have no idea about the battles I fight for you.”
The four-time African Player of the Year went to urge the players to show pride for the nation.
“When we come here, it’s about Cameroon, guys. There’s nothing more beautiful than Cameroon for me. I will give my life for my country. I have great esteem for my country, and I shall arrive with or without you.
“If you want to be part of this journey, you must work. If it’s about what I saw out there today [Thursday], I’m not sure any of you will be on the list. I need more, because I dream to win the World Cup,” said the two-time Afcon winner.
Cameroon, who have only played one match since their would-be match-day one opponents Kenya are suspended by FIFA, lead Group C with three points with their next features scheduled in September against Namibia.