Coach Seedorf seeks redemption with Cameroon after club failures

AFP
Coach Seedorf seeks redemption with Cameroon after club failures
Coach Seedorf seeks redemption with Cameroon after club failures

Ismailia (Egypt) (AFP) - Dutch superstar Clarence Seedorf won the Champions League four times with Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid and AC Milan during an illustrious career spanning two decades.

But as a club manager in Italy, China and Spain he flopped, winning just 17 of 52 matches and being sacked three times after short spells in charge.

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt offers him a chance of redemption as he coaches Cameroon, the defending champions and one of the title favourites.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

He succeeded underperforming Belgian Hugo Broos last year and has won three, drawn three and lost three matches in charge of the five-time African champions.

Seedorf will be judged by what happens at the Africa Cup and anything less than a quarter-finals place will almost certainly lead to his post-tournament dismissal.

He denied that a bonus row which delayed the arrival of the Indomitable Lions in Egypt will affect their chances, saying: "That issue actually bolstered team spirit.

"We have prepared well and are highly motivated. There is a lot of talent within the squad and a good mix of youth and experience."

Here, AFP Sport previews the opening Group F matches in Ismailia Tuesday with Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau renewing a recent rivalry before four-time champions Ghana meet Benin.

Cameroon v Guinea-Bissau

Cameroon also met then-debutants Guinea-Bissau in their first match two years ago and came from behind to win 2-1 at the start of a campaign that ended in a final triumph over Egypt.

Just 10 of the 23-man winning squad are in Egypt, but the figure would have been higher had final matchwinner Vincent Aboubakar not been injured.

In the absence of the Porto forward, Cameroon will look to regular La Liga scorer Karl Toko Ekambi from Villarreal for goals as they pursue back-to-back titles.

At the back, the Lions will be in safe hands as goalkeeper Andre Onana was part of the Ajax team that stunned Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League last season.

A Guinea-Bissau side coached by local Baciro Cande and captained by Slovakia-based midfielder Zezinho lost a warm-up game against Angola 2-0 in Portugal and then slipped under the radar.

Benin v Ghana

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has hailed his squad for a "peaceful" build-up to their group opener against a Benin side desperate to end a winless record at the African football showpiece.

Appiah was in the first of two spells as the Black Stars coach when his players threatened to boycott a match at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil over unpaid bonuses.

The embarrassing stand-off was resolved only when a jet carrying trunks of cash arrived in South America and the players were paid in dollars.

A drama involving ageing forward Asamoah Gyan, who retired last month after being stripped of the captaincy, was resolved when state president Nana Akufo-Addo persuaded him to carry on.

Gyan is part of a squad skippered by Andre Ayew and they face a Benin side who have drawn one match and lost eight in three Cup of Nations appearances, leading to early exits.

What to Read Next