“I watch all his matches, I follow him on Instagram, I download his videos to learn about his movements, the state of mind he brings to the group, his fighting spirit, his leadership when he is on the field, and so on
Cameroonian striker Dorinel Yondjo does not hide his ambitions. He wants to score at least five goals at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria 2023, and beat the record set by Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, who scored four and won the golden boot in 2015.
Yondjo believes he has what it takes to set a new mark, and he is confident in his abilities and that of the team, that they can make history together in Algeria.
“Coming to this competition, to tell you the truth, I did some research to know the very recent top scorers of this tournament. I realized that the best had never exceeded four goals and I will try to work to break this record,” the striker said, adding that he is inspired by Osimhen’s story and keeps tabs of his club and country performances.
“I have followed the story of Victor (Osimhen). After shining with Nigeria during the 2015 U17 AFCON and the FIFA World Cup, he signed for Wolfsburg in Germany and my dream is also to be able to sign for a big club after this competition,” he said.
Yondjo is not just inspired by Osimhen alone, but also Real Madrid and France forward, Karim Benzema.
“I watch all his matches, I follow him on Instagram, I download his videos to learn about his movements, the state of mind he brings to the group, his fighting spirit, his leadership when he is on the field, and so on,”
“I really hope to play for this club (Real Madrid) one day because they are fabulous. Each season, they show that it is the best club in the world and that motivates me to pursue my dream of playing in this team one day,” said the young forward.
Yondjo is one of the players who the Cameroonian public has huge faith ahead of the tournament.
The young striker is personally aware of this and seems to have prepared accordingly.
“With these expectations, I am ready to respond. It is my duty as a striker since I showed during the UNIFFAC tournament who I am and I understand that the people have expectations of me in this competition here in Algeria,” he said, speaking to CAFONline.com.
The faith placed in him is entirely justified.
Since the beginning of his adventure with the U17 team, the center-forward of the Cameroon Brasseries Football School (EFBC) has always been able to step up when called upon.
Yondjo was the X factor of the Cubs during the qualification tournament of the UNIFFAC zone played in January in Limbe.
He scored twice and assisted once in the 4-0 win over CAR and then played another starring role with a goal and an assist in a 2-0 win over Congo. The returns enabled him finish as the tournament’s top scorer and Most Valuable Player.
The striker also showed his qualities during friendly matches played by the Cameroonian team in their pre-tournament camp in Sousse, Tunisia.
The question now is, can he replicate the form at the tournament where Cameroon hope to retain the title and book a ticket to the World Cup?
“Personally, I want to give everything to move the team forward. I want to help the team and also individually, try to win the Golden Boot award. Teamwork will be crucial in this if we are all to achieve our goals,” the striker said.
He has admitted there is pressure, not just on himself but the team as well, but notes he has taken it positively
“Being the defending champion is not easy and we came here with good motivation to be able to retain our trophy,” he added.
Cameroon have been drawn in a tough Group C where they will tackle Mali and Burkina Faso, two teams who have already won the U17 title.