The Indomitable Lions, as they are called is Africa's most successful side as far as the World football is concerned; Cameroon has qualified for the FIFA World Cup six times - in 1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2010- more than any other African nation.
They were the first African team to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup, in 1990, losing to England in extra time. They have also won 4 Africa Cup of Nations, as well as the gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
Cameroon qualified for its first FIFA World Cup in 1982 alongside Algeria to represent Africa in Spain with the increase of the number of teams from 16 to 24. They were drawn into group 1 with Italy, Poland, and Peru. In their first game Cameroon faced Italy and held on to a surprising 1-1 draw. Cameroon held Peru and Poland to 0-0 draws but failed to qualify for the second round.
Cameroon qualified for the 1990 World Cup by surpassing Nigeria and beating Tunisia in the final round playoff. In the final tournament Cameroon were drawn into group B with Argentina, Romania, and the Soviet Union. They shocked the world by defeating holders Argentina 1-0 with a goal scored by Omam Biyick. Cameroon later defeated Romania 2-1 and lost to the Soviet Union 4-0, becoming the first side to top a World Cup Finals group with a negative goal difference. In the second round Cameroon defeated Colombia 2-1 with Roger Milla scoring two goals in the extra time. In the quarter finals Cameroon faced England. The Lions were defeated 3-2 by England
Cameroon qualified in 1994, 1998 and 2002 but could not make it to the second round.
In the 2006 World Cup qualifying round Cameroon were drawn into group 3 with Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Benin. They led the group for most of time until their final game. On October 8, 2005 the Lions drew with Egypt 1-1 while Côte d'Ivoire defeated Sudan 3-1. This result prevented them from making the World Cup.
The race to the World cup 2010 was not a very smooth one for Cameroon. They were in same group with Gabon, Togo and Morocco. After a slow start in their campaign, with a shocking loss to Togo, and drawing Morroco, the coach of Cameroon, Otto Pfister was fired and Frenchman Paul Le Guen appointed. Le Guen's appointment caused an up rise in Cameroon's spirits as they got a win against Gabon in Libreville, followed by another win against The Panthers four days later in Yaoundé. One month later they defeated Togo in Yaoundé by 3 goals. On November 14, 2009, Cameroon defeated The Atlas Lions of Morroco 2-0 in Fez in their last match of their campaign. Gabon were also be defeated by Togo 1-0 in Lome.
Both results caused Cameroon to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
COACH: Paul Le Guen, a championship-winning coach with French side Olympique Lyon, took a short-term contract with Cameroon in July when they were at the bottom of their group. He proved inspirational, producing a big turnaround in attitude on the back of a desire to build a professional set-up around the team. His plans resonated with the players who responded by winning four successive qualifiers and booking their place in South Africa.
Samuel Eto'o (Inter Milan): Aged 28 and plays forward. Eto'o has had a distinguished career including two Champions League winners' medals with Barcelona and double success in the African Nations Cup finals where he is the tournament's record scorer.
Jean Makoun (Olympique Lyon): Aged 27 and plays in the Mid field. Makoun is the driving force for Cameroon and has considerable tournament experience at three Nations Cup finals. A €14 million signing by Lyon in 2008, Makoun initially made his name at Lille.
Achille Webo (Mallorca): Aged 27 and plays forward. Scorer of important goals for his country, he has spent his entire professional career in Spanish soccer and is a dangerous man up front.
Cameroon which is 11th on FIFA ranking as of November 2009 has a good chance of bettering their last-eight finish in 1990. They were a side in transition but now have a balanced team with exciting new prospects such as Alexandre Song and Stephane Mbia.