The Success of Cameroon at Afcon 2017

February 8, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

 

 

By

Ennin Kwaku Godfred

 

The 5 Important Lessons for all.

 

 

1. Money is never enough for success unless it is cushioned by sacrifice.

Cameroon came into the recently ended competition with haunting memories and hangovers from the Brazil fiasco.

Winning bonuses became an issue at the critical moment of the tournament. The players boycotted training a day before their emphatic clash with the black stars. These among other setbacks were enough to see Cameroon off in the first round. Having put their shortcomings behind them, a success story has been told. They did not allow these drawbacks to affect their passion for the ultimate.

 

2. Better be underrated than overrated on the grounds of complacency, which never pays. They (Cameroon) were considered underdogs by many. Most sports writers and pundits, including myself, least expected the Central African Contenders of the tournament to reach this far. After beating Senegal, Ghana and finally Egypt (countries mostly considered as the powerhouses of African Football), in a successive bid for the ultimate, sports writers and football analysts now have to redefine who an underdog is in the face of a complacent favourite- like Ghana and the rest, to rewrite their scripts even as sports commentators.

 

3. Leading is different from winning. In the early embers of the game between Cameroon and Egypt, the latter looked much more convinced to lift the trophy and a goal as early as the 22nd minute was enough evidence. Egypt, having scored a relatively early goal, relaxed to their normal game of using the flanks to attack Cameroon on a counter, thereby relying mostly on their lone striker, Mohamed Salah up front. This was not successful enough to see the Egyptians double their lead as the Cameroonians defence was as solid as a rock and difficult to penetrate.

The Egyptians though had a goal to their advantage, but the Cameroonians dominated play and dictated the pace of the game even in the first half, with an impressive 63% of possession against 37% by the Egyptians. The Cameroonians had a different mentality of winning and leading as they fought hard to equalize and were later rewarded with a tournament winning strike after all.

You might take the lead, but someone else can win. It’s about defining whether to win or lead at the end of every situation.

 

4. Never sit on your laurels. Of course every country represented at the Afcon had some target. Some came to defend the title, others to taste the Afcon for the first time. Unfortunately, I must say, others came because they qualified- interesting huh! The last time Ghana won the Afcon, Cameroon had no trophies to boast of. However, after 35 years of dormancy on the part of Ghana, Cameroon has come from behind to win their 5th Afcon title and are urrently a force to reckon with in Africa – incredible. Ghana are now stacked at 4th in Afcon Glory yet always claiming to be the superpowers of African football with consistent disappointment and an embodiment of national confers drainers year in year out. Never sit on your laurels, do more if you can today because life presents us with at times similar opportunities, it depends on how we define and utilize such opportunities.

 

5. Nobody is indispensable. Again, and lastly, if the just ended tournament was technically about player quality, class and form, then I don’t think Cameroon would have even qualified in the first place. Before the tournament, players that have been consistent on their side including Andre Onana of Ajax- Amsterdam, Guy Roland of Nancy, Joel Matip of Liverpool , Allan Nyom of West Brom, Maxime Poundje of Bordeaux, Andre Zambo Anguissa of OM, Chuopo-Moting of Schalke 04, Ibrahim Amadou of Lille, were all missing from their squad. It is disheartening to note that the aforementioned players chose their respective clubs at the expense of national pride. As unpatriotic as it may sound in your ears, I doubt that these crusade of players will now be biting their fingers and bowing their heads in shame.

 

My take: Be motivated to increase your acceleration, not because you can run but because you have to; life is a race. Run faster to outrun what is chasing you, dreams, aspirations and goals.

In the pursuance of dreams, winners are those that never slept, those that never gave up, those that never sat on their laurels, those that never built a future around dream killers, those that moved on in midst of disappointments and successful failures.

You can move on in life without some people. Even when they say no! It’s about never quitting, even when they don’t believe in your dreams, turn you down and even fail to stay by your side when you needed them the most.

To my beloved country Ghana (better luck next time) and all, this is the success story of Cameroon, a blueprint for all prospective winners of every situation. It might not just be football. In every situation, much more than money, complacency, past glories, just taking the lead, and over reliance on people is required to win.

To be a winner, it requires the amalgamation of sacrifice, dedication, commitment and a high sense of duty and this should wake you up at night, and hence, a dreamer never sleeps.

 

 

 

 

 

Ennin Kwaku Godfred

Ennin kwaku Godfred, as I’m affectionately called, is an up and coming sensational and creative writer who hails from Kwahu Mpreaso in the Eastern region of Ghana. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and sociology at the University of Cape Coast. My passion is to write about the relevant social, educational, political and economical issues, among many others, circular issues and is mostly triggered by personal experiences birthed by my desire to write. Such a characteristic of me is evident in the originality, innovativeness and influence of my articles. I am driven by my popular saying ‘UNTIL THE OCEAN FREEZES TO BREEZE, I WILL ALWAYS BE AT THE SHORE TO WRITE.’

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