Exclusive / Jules Denis Onana: « African countries must play as they know how to do »


Present at the press conference relating to the presentation of the World Cup trophy, Jules Denis Onana, quarter-finalist with Cameroon at the Italy 90 World Cup, gave us an interview in which he notes what he African countries need to go far in the competition in Qatar.

He is the only former Indomitable Lion of Cameroon to have taken part in the press conference linked to the arrival of the World Cup trophy in his country this Thursday, September 08, 2022. At the end of the press conference given by David Trezeguet, the FIFA representative of the Trophy Tour, and the representatives of Coca-Cola, he confided in the microphone of africafootunited.com

How do you feel about the arrival of the World Cup trophy in Cameroon?

Very proud to have seen an international icon (David Trezeguet, editor’s note). Everyone still remembers his golden goal which gave victory to the French team at the Euro. He’s a world champion. As he said, there are very few people who can touch the trophy, he had this privilege there. And Cameroon, today, hosts the trophy, I am very proud to have been in this team of 1990 which made people look at the African continent in another way. Now, we think it is high time to go beyond that. Because African players are the best in the world, they perform at their club in Europe. They should be able to be armed to do these same exploits in their national selections and to fly their flag in the firmament.

This World Cup, we think it is open. We have our chances because it is not very far from Africa. The spirit has changed, before we went there to participate, now the players go there because they know that they are important, that they are pillars in their club. And of course when you are the pillars of your teams in Europe, you can have dreams in the World Cup, to go further. That’s all we want for them. We have 5 teams for Africa, we hope Cameroon, Senegal and Ghana record will be broken this year.

In the last edition of the World Cup in Russia, no African country went to the second round. What do African teams really need to go very far in the competition?

African countries must play as they know how to do, not copy models they do not master. Let’s play like Africans. Cameroonian football has its specificities, let’s use these specificities to go further. In my opinion, this is the best advice one can give him. Do not copy others but develop internal strengths and prove that you can win with your own strengths.

Of the 5 African countries qualified for the next World Cup, which do you think is the favorite that could go far in the competition?

Cameroon.

Cameroon… Why not Senegal or Morocco?

Because I am Cameroonian and because we are always the first.

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