Aurelien Chedjou

What can we expect from Cameroon at the World Cup this summer? Well, we want to create some hope and perhaps be the first African nation to contest the final. It’s a big moment for football and we want to be up to Cameroon’s expectations – Africa’s, too. 

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And if you won it, what would be the first thing you would do upon arriving home?
I don’t know. I would probably end up not sleeping for a week, that’s for sure – there would be plenty of partying. But apart from that, I don’t know what to tell you. We will have to wait and see what we’re capable of. If we win I’m sure there will be lots of things going through my head.

What do you make of England’s chances?
It’s no secret England are a great team, and they now have a very good manager. He’s straightforward, proper and strict and I think the players have taken his approach on board very quickly. We’ve seen the results. Otherwise, the players in each department need no introduction. Wayne Rooney is stratospheric – he’s immense. And some only talk about Peter Crouch’s size, but he’s a very good footballer.

Even in midfield, where players like Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard have often trod on each other's toes, you have Gareth Barry now. They are all top players. I think they’re a nation who could go right to the end of this World Cup.

Are there any other players at the World Cup you would like to face?
Playing against Lionel Messi wouldn’t be too bad! It would be a real battle as we all know what he can do with a football. Plus, he would have the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez alongside him. There’s also Brazil, and Spain with their very fluid game. I really think this is going to be a World Cup where every single team will boast at least one world-class player in their team.

Can you tell us something we don’t know about you?
You would have to ask my friends that one! It’s difficult to talk about yourself like that – I don’t know what to tell you. But I’m sure I did my fair share of daft things when was younger that no one really wants to hear about. When we’re young, we all do stupid stuff – and I did, just the same as everyone. I should probably have been a bit more chilled out. Voilà!

Interview: June 2010.

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