Cameroon national football team logo
Cameroon Football Team

World Cup Participation

1982, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2014, 2022


1978, 1986

Team Information

Cameroon National Football Team History

Independence From France and First Major Tourney

Still a French colony at the time, Cameroon played their first match in 1956 against Belgian Congo and lost 3-2. Cameroon received their independence in 1960 and qualified for their first major tournament in 1970.

The Cameroon national football team won two of their three matches at the 1970 Africa Cup of Nations but failed to make it out of the group stage. Two years later, hosts Cameroon finished third in the competition but didn’t qualify for another tournament for 10 years.

The World Cup expanded from 16 to 24 teams in 1982 and Cameroon, along with Algeria, qualified from Africa. In the first Cameroon FIFA World Cup match, they drew 0-0 with Peru. Next, they also drew 0-0 with Poland and 1-1 against eventual champions Italy. Despite finishing with an identical record to Italy, Cameroon scored fewer goals and were eliminated.

Many AFCON Wins 

In 1984, Cameroon won their first major trophy, at the Africa Cup of Nations. The Indomitable Lions defeated Nigeria 3-1 in the final as Theophile Abega, Rene N’Djeya and Ernest-Lottin Mbongue all scored. Cameroon midfielder Theophile Abega and goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell were named the tournament’s best player and goalkeeper, respectively.

The Cameroon national football team once again won AFCON in 1988, as Roger Milla was named joint-top scorer. The Indomitable Lions conceded just one goal at the tournament and once again defeated Nigeria in the final. Two years later, Cameroon returned to the FIFA World Cup.

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Picking up one of their best ever wins, Cameroon defeated defending champions Argentina 1-0 in their World Cup 1990 opener. Cameroon also defeated Romania 2-1 and lost to the Soviet Union 4-0 to top the group. In their first round of 16 appearances, Cameroon defeated Colombia 2-1 but lost 3-2 in extra time to England in the quarterfinals.

1994-2002 World Cup Streak
Cameroon qualified for consecutive World Cups for the first time by booking a place at USA 1994. The Indomitable Lions drew 2-2 with Sweden in their opener but imploded in their next two matches. They lost 3-0 to Brazil and 6-1 to Russia. At 42 years old, Roger Milla became the oldest player to both play and score in a World Cup match, when he scored Cameroon’s lone goal against Russia.

Legend Samuel Eto’o made his World Cup debut in 1998, but Cameroon were unlucky not to qualify for the knockout stage. They had two goals called back in a 1-1 draw with Chile and led Austria until the 90th minute, also in a 1-1 draw.

Untimely Death of Vivien-Foe

Becoming just the third team to win consecutive AFCON titles, Cameroon national football team won in both 2000 and 2002. The Indomitable Lions also qualified for a fourth consecutive World Cup in 2002. Cameroon finished with a win, loss, and draw and were narrowly eliminated in the group stage.

The national team was rocked when Marc Vivien-Foe collapsed on the pitch and later died during a 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup match.

The Indomitable Lions missed out on the 2006 World Cup but returned in 2010. Cameroon was the first team to be mathematically eliminated as they lost their first two matches to Japan and Denmark. Cameroon lost all three matches by a single goal margin and fell to the Netherlands 2-1 in the group stage finale.

Bad World Cup, AFCON Win

Cameroon’s World Cup performance in 2014 was even more disappointing than four years earlier. They were statistically the worst team at the tournament and once again dropped all three matches.

However, the Indomitable Lions won their fifth Africa Cup of Nations in 2017 as Vincent Aboubakar scored the winner vs. Egypt. With five titles, Cameroon trail only Egypt. 

Cameroon missed out on the World Cup in 2018 but are returning in Qatar 2022.

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