- Zambo Anguissa grabbed first senior goal against Australia
- Midfielder declined invitation to AFCON 2017
- Marseille man looks up to Lassana Diarra & Abou Diaby
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa opened his international goalscoring account on Thursday at the FIFA Confederations Cup, and although the opportunistic effort was not enough to hand Cameroon victory over Australia, his strong performance in midfield augurs well for Les Lions Indomptables’ next match against Germany.
Having arrived at Marseille in 2015, the midfield man has gradually earned more and more playing time at the Velodrome, drawing inspiration from two experienced heads that he admired as a boy. “It’s a great pleasure to play alongside idols like Lassana Diarra and Abou Diaby,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from them. First of all, they’re just really nice guys. And they’ve always been there for me, giving me advice and guidance – on and off the pitch. They’re like big brothers to me.”
Zambo Anguissa opens the scoring just before half-time!
Just like against Chile, he was the only Cameroon player on the pitch in Saint Petersburg not to have lifted the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations. But it was not for want of trying on the part of coach Hugo Broos. “The coach called me, because he wanted to include me in the squad," explained the Yaounde native. "I told him that I was too young and that I needed to establish myself at a club first. He understood and wished me good luck.”
No looking back
He therefore refused to go to Gabon 2017 so that he could work at becoming a regular at Marseille, which would then make him more deserving of a spot in the national squad. “That sums it up well,” said the 21-year-old with a smile. “I made a choice and now it’s paying dividends. Due to how I’ve been playing with my club, the coach has been able to see what I’m capable of and now I’m very much available to serve my country. I don’t have any regrets.”
While he has clocked up 50-odd appearances for L’OM and earned his fifth cap for Cameroon on Thursday, Zambo Anguissa had not, until that match, ever found the net as a professional player. And that wait is now over, as he lifted the ball adroitly over Australia goalkeeper Maty Ryan, who had rushed out of his goal to cut out the danger.
Benefits of homework
“We watched videos of Australia and saw that their goalkeeper often comes off his line. When I saw the ball heading my way, I also spotted that he had started to come out, and all I had to do was get a little touch on it,” he recounted modestly after the impressive goal that crowned his second appearance at Russia 2017.