Indomitable lions squad is open to all – Seedorf
Cameroon coach Clarence Seedorf has insisted that his squad is open to all players no matter where they ply their trade.
His comments come after Benjamin Moukandjo retired from international football following Seedorf’s snubbed China-based players for his first squad.
Soon after Moukandjo’s retirement, Seedorf included China-based striker Christian Bassagog on his list for upcoming games against Malawi.
“We follow all the players and we see a lot of talent out there. We try to bring in the best players for Cameroon,” Seedorf explained.
“Not just best in terms of talent but those who are motivated and who know what it means to play for this nation.
“Every player needs to be happy and proud to play for Cameroon.”
The upcoming matches count as 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for Malawi but not for the Indomitable Lions, who have qualified automatically as hosts.
Seedorf, who drew his first match in charge 1-1 with Comoros last month, says he is already building a team for next year’s finals.
“Some players think they can wait a month until the 2019 Afcon before making a decision but that’s not going to happen,” he explained.
“We want to build a solid and title-winning side, that’s why the team is open to all.”
He went onto say it was a shame that Moukandjo, who skippered the Indomitable Lions to a fifth African title in 2017, had decided to retire.
“It’s a pity that Benjamin decided to retire,” Seedorf insisted.
“When I talked about players in Asia, I meant the young talented ones and this wasn’t particularly about him or any other player, that’s why Christian Bassogog is in the team.”
Seedorf says he is in talks with Liverpool defender Joel Matip about a possible return to the Indomitable Lions.
Matip quit international football after the 2014 World Cup has turned down recent call ups to the squad.
“Matip is a very good player and we spoke to him before the game against Comoros,” he explained.
“He was injured and unavailable, but we have continued talking to him. We don’t want to rush with him.
“Matip asked for some time to get back in shape and that’s very important. He is a player we’re optimistic about and we’ll see what the future brings.”
Seedorf has convinced Paul-George Ntep and Jerome Onguene to switch allegiances from France to Cameroon and the coach is upbeat he can persuade more players to make a switch for the Lions.
“We have spoken to several talented players who were born in France, Switzerland and other European countries,” the Dutchman explained.
“We have told them why it’s important to play for Cameroon – some of these players didn’t say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.
“They just said they will think about it but for us to know their readiness and willingness to play for this great nation.”
One player with the dilemma is Dimitri Oberlin he has withdrawn from Seedorf’s squad in order to play for Switzerland’s under-21 side.
The 21-year-old was born in Cameroon but moved to Switzerland aged nine and even if he plays for the under-21 side he can still decide to swap national allegiances.
Clarence Seedorf is hoping to record his first win at the helm of the Indomitable Lions after a shocking 1-1 against Comoros in his first game as Cameroon’s coach in September.
The 2019 AFCON qualifier against Malawi in Yaounde on 12 October will be Clarence Seedorf’s first home game as Cameroon manager.