Breel Embolo, the internal conflict before Switzerland-Cameroon

He admits “not having jumped for joy” at the time of the draw, but he must have felt a special feeling. This Thursday, Switzerland begins its World Cup against the Indomitable Lions and this meeting will necessarily be full of affect for Breel Embolo. If the 25-year-old striker has 59 caps and 11 goals with the Nati, he was born in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon. “I have a lot of friends there, most of my family lives there, my dad still lives in Cameroon, he explains. It’s a very special game. »

The Monaco player changed continent very early on, but he didn’t “never lost that link” with his native country, and he always goes to Yaoundé or Douala. “I try to go there once or twice a year to keep this Cameroonian-African bond, he develops. I try to bring it also to my children and to bring it through charitable actions, as with my association (the Embolo Foundation). It is very important for me not to forget where I come from. »

“I had the opportunity to go with Cameroon in the World Cup”

This is not the case and, this Thursday, he will also face relatives like Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, whom he often finds on vacation in Cameroon. “I have good relations with several players, they are really friends, confirms Embolo. This match is a bit of a direct and indirect conflict (laughs). I know there will be a lot of emotion and I’m trying to push it back to D-Day.” D-Day is therefore this Thursday, when years ago the young adult had to make a decision for life.

Arrived at the age of 6 in Basel after having lived in France, Embolo obtained his Swiss passport in 2014. It’s time to opt for a selection. “I was 17-18 years old and I put off the choice for 6-7 months, says the scorer. I had the opportunity to go with Cameroon in the World Cup. And I was approached by Switzerland, where I grew up. The decision was very hard. At some point, you wake up, you have your answer and you say to yourself: “This is what I want”. »

The attacker indicates that his family respected his choice, affirms to him to be ” very happy “, and he will also launch the second World Cup of his career against Cameroon, which he claims to be “the first fan”. What would he do if he were to score? “Sure, I’m not going to celebrate, he announces. Or else I’ll try not to celebrate. But it’s a sport of emotion, it wouldn’t be against my native country. » If he succeeded, he would in any case hurt her. For once.


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