Home » Andre Onana opens up on AFCON 2023 participation

Andre Onana opens up on AFCON 2023 participation

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Andre Onana has featured at two AFCON tournaments with Cameroon
  • Andre Onana came out of retirement to help Cameroon reach Côte D’Ivoire
  • He made seven saves to help Cameroon keep a clean sheet, beat Burundi to qualify for the AFCON earlier this month
  • Andre Onana’s decision to play at the AFCON depends on his call up

Manchester United goalkeeper, Andre Onana Onana is undecided whether he will play for Cameroon or not during next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte D’Ivoire.

The 27-year-old shot stopper told the media this Tuesday that his decision to participate at continental showpiece can’t be made at the moment because he is not certain about being invited.

Onana joined Manchester United last summer from Inter Milan, months after retirement from international football, following a brawl with the president of the Cameroon Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o Fils during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The netminder was later convinced by the government of the country to take-back his decision. Onana accepted to turn up for the Indomitable Lions in the 3-0 win against the Swallows of Burundi on match day six of the qualifiers.

Onana’s heroics that September 5 night helped Cameroon qualify for the AFCON. That qualification means he could feature at his third AFCON tournament in Côte D’Ivoire between January- February 2024.

The possibility of attending the tournament at the expense of about seven games for his club has left many Manchester United faithful tongues wagging.

Quizzed on whether he will accept an AFCON call-up during the pre-match conference of their Champions League game against Bayern Munich, Onana didn’t take a clear position:

“If I’m called up [we’ll see], we don’t know if I will, let’s see what is going to happen in the next month.”

The former Barcelona B and Ajax Amsterdam shot stopper also had time to discuss his adaptation to life at his new club which hasn’t gone as planned so far.

“I don’t think I’m here because I’m really good with my feet. The most important thing is the team and I have to adapt myself. We all have to step up.”

Onana was brought in to provide the basic needs of modern keepers. Unfortunately , he has conceded ten goals in five Premier League games. The Cameroon international has not enjoyed the smoothest of starts to life at United.

However, the team needs to improve in all aspects and play with greater hunger. The Red Devils have won just two of their opening five games, falling to three defeats.

Going by Onana’s standards, the performance has been below par . His only clean sheet came in their 1-0 win at home to Wolves in which he was extremely fortunate to have avoided conceding a last-minute penalty for clattering striker Sasa Kalajdzic.

The native of Nkol-Ngok could redeem his reputation in the Champions League [his favorite competition] on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena.

Manchester United will open their Champions League campaign on the road to Bayern Munich at a ground Onana had an unforgettable performance last season with Inter Milan.

United certainly want their keeper to return to his best soonest, but must surely have it at the back of their minds that a good performance for his club will only increase his chances of being in the plane to Cote D’Ivoire early next year.

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