In what state of mind is the group, a few days away from the game against Zambia, which is no longer an issue?

For us, the stake of this meeting is there and we are preparing it in a serious way because a victory would help us for the FIFA rankings. And we are champions of Africa.

We would like to finish this qualification campaign in 2nd place, since it is no longer possible to finish first. I take this opportunity to express my disappointment with our elimination. I was the first to be disappointed and all my teammates are disappointed too.

Every player dreams of being at the World Cup. We had the opportunity to go but it got complicated. We must turn to another goal, just as important: the AFCON 2019. We would like to keep our title at home and please the people of Cameroon on this occasion.

There has been a lot of talk about tribalism and corruption in the Indomitable Lions lately. What is your take on this?

Personally, when I wear the jersey of the national team, I no longer think that I’m from the North or from another region. I think to defend the colours of the country and it is also true for all other players.

These stories of tribalism and others have nothing to do with football. All those people around us who say them must know that we are all here to honour the country. When they understand it, it’ll be better.

On a personal level, can you say that you are currently enjoying your best season?

Things are indeed going well for me right now. It’s the result of a lot of work since Valenciennes and the clubs I’ve been to. Working and becoming aware of its value pays off. But I want to go further.

You did not seem ready to return to Porto during the truce …?

When I left on loan to Besiktas (Turkey), I admit that I never imagined finding myself in this kind of situation. Being loaned finally boosted me and I told myself that I have to make a big season to show the officials of Porto that they were wrong.

I told them after that I did not want to come back. At the end of the season, I did not have many possibilities even if there was Marseille. So I decided to go back to Porto. The chance I had was that the club president loves me a lot and also, we got a new coach and he called me. It gave me confidence.

How did you welcome your presence among the nominees of the African Best Player, especially as you are with two other compatriots?

Any footballer dreams of collective titles but also individual. It’s a good thing that I’m nominated, but I must not stop at that. And then there is Aubameyang, Salah, Mané who are very good players. I would not wish to disappoint Cameroonians.

I want to continue working so that everyone is happy with me. Internally, this title is a goal. Maybe not for now, but I’ve been thinking about it for a while.

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