Rigobert Song, head Coach of Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and Djamel Belmadi
Head Coach, Algeria have both promised to win the the Cameroon vs Algeria encounter in Japoma, Douala.
The coaches were speaking in separate pre match press conferences at the Japoma stadium ahead of their first leg World Cup qualifier match at the Japoma stadium on Friday March 25, 2022.
The former players who now train their respective country’s Senior Male National Football Teams say their squads are well prepared, determined and motivated to qualify for the Quatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Both coaches were accompanied to the press conference by the captains of their respective teams; Vincent Aboubakar for Cameroon and Riyad Mahrez for Algeria
Rigobert Song, who was granting his first press conference since his appointment in the wake of AFCON2021 was welcomed to the conference room with cheers from Cameroonian journalists who fondly referred “Captain Courage” in memory of his glory days as Captain of the Indomitable Lions. One of the rare Cameroonians who participated in four World Cup tournaments as a player and one as a Coach.
Rigobert Song responding to a question on his predecessor said Coach Antonio Conceicao did a great job by taking the team to a certain level and within the short time he has taken over, his principal task has been to motivate the players and revive the Lions fighting spirit in each member of the squad.
He added that as coach of the U23 Lions he work closely with his predecessor and 6 or 7 players of the U23 were called up to to national team.
Regarding the match between Cameroon and Algeria, The Coach recognised the statistical advantage of the Lions given that the team has never been defeated by the Desert Foxes at this level of football. He however noted that the current generation of players understand the tasks and are motivated to grab a victory in Japoma in order to consolidate their qualification once they travel for the away leg in Algeria on Tuesday March 29.
He assured press men of the state of health of all players including goalkeeper Andre Onana who survived a car crash.
Team Captain Vincent Aboubakar who emerged highest goal scorer during the AFCON2021, told press men that as one of the most experienced players in the squad, his role is to motivate the younger players and sensitize them of how to face major competitions like the World Cup qualifier.
He also share his World Cup experience with them so that together they can build the synergy required to play and make Cameroonians proud of a World Cup qualification ticket.
After the press conference, the team proceeded with a reconnaissance training session at the Olembe stadium, open to the press for 15 minutes.
Djamel Belmadi, Head Coach of the Desert Fox of Algeria said they consider the AFCON as the past and they are now focused on grabbing a qualification ticket.
The saluted the beauty of Cameroonians stadiums adding that irrespective of where they play, the Algerian side is set and capable of making the difference.
He used the occasion to congratulate Rigobert Song following his appointment as Head Coach and wished him a successful coaching career as bright as his football.
In a jovial interaction with the press, the coach explained that training in Equatorial Guinea was on other to be close to the play ground in order to avoid missing a day of training if they had to travel from Algeria.
Riyad Mahrez, Captain of the Algerian national team, said his generation af players are determined to win as they dream to play the Qatar 2o22 World Cup.
Quizzed on Cameroon’s players, he said he plays with tough guys every weekend and only after the matches that the better side will prevail.
The Algerian side also had a reconnaissance training session at the Japoma stadium ahead of Friday clash.