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Jean-Pierre Nsame’s Struggles with Cameroon’s National Team

by Lesley Ngwa
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  • Former Cameroon international Jean-Pierre Nsame candidly shared his frustrations about his experiences with the national team. 
  • He highlighted issues of individualism, ego, and a lack of camaraderie among players. Despite being the top Cameroonian scorer in Europe, Nsame faced challenges finding his place. 
  •  Between his first cup up in 2017 to 2022 the 31-year-old has just four appearances with the Indomitable Lions 

In an eye-opening interview with JF Training, former Cameroon international Jean-Pierre Nsame bared his soul about his tumultuous journey with the national team. 

The former yong boys player who earned his first cap on September 2017, arrived in the national team with high hopes. However, he soon lost motivation due to unsuitable conditions within the team.

“When I arrived in the national team for the first time, it was going well. I was motivated, but in the neak of time I lost motivation. Because the conditions within are not suitable for me.That’s not how I see a team. For me, in a team, we don’t ask you to be friends with everyone, but rather to respect your teammates, to have a connection with them, to not make them feel that you are superior to them”

He lamented the lack of respect and connections among players, emphasizing that camaraderie should prevail over superiority.Nsame encountered fractions, games of influence, and displays of wealth within the team.

“When I arrived for the first time in the national team, there were quite a few players who made me think that they were superior to me, because I came from the Swiss championship, which according to them is secondary. And when I came back home, That was the first thing I told my brother I’m disappointed with the national team”

“I thought I would find friends, even if I don’t know them, like you create friendships, and you will be happy to go back.

But it was totally the opposite. Clans, games of influence, display of wealth, ‘I’m better than you’ and I said it; but guys we came for football”

Despite being the top Cameroon scorer in Europe with 21 goals, he struggled to find his place. His disappointment peaked during the AFCON in Egypt.

“I had the height of it during the AFCON in Egypt , Aboubakar was injured and I just finished a season where I was the best Cameroonians player playing in Europe. Seedorf calls me and we have to camp in Dubai but I was left out because according to him, he needs a player who can adapt to the african system, I thought it was an excuse , I was ready but wasn’t taken but an injured Aboubakar was taken. Is it because I don’t bring ambiance into the team, I am not someone to do that. It’s not a performance that shines in the national team.”

Nsame recalled being left out of crucial games, including one against Switzerland in the 2022 FIFA world cup in Qatar. Nsame and Moumi were the two players playing their trade in the Swiss championship at that time and to the 31-year-old it didnt feel right to leave him out.He also mentioned how he questioned the coach’s decisions and the lack of transparency.

“I thought I was going to play the game against Switzerland , I wasn’t going to start but at least play , on the eve of the game I had a talk with Coach Migne, who told me I and choupo make a good pair and I should be happy to have been selected and that for him it will be difficult for me to play . He gave no reason for this. I questioned my call up when I wasn’t going to play”

“When we were preparing for that game they assumed Switzerland was going to play in a 5-3-2 system. I didn’t feel it was going to be that way, I told Karl Toko Ekambi Switzerland won’t play with that system. On the eve I wasn’t okay with the swiss composition either. I told some people that Switzerland will go for a 4-3-3 system on the day of the game we received the composition, they changed the composition to 4-3-2-1 claiming Djibril Sow will be the number 10 but I had told them Djibril cannot be the number 10, that is not his position.”

The Indomitable Lions had lost that game by 0-1. A scoreline that marred their chances of going to the next round, giving an opportunity to Switzerland.

Despite this, the como player made some connections with some player of the national team during his stay

“I made connections with Nicolas Nkoulou, Gaelle Ondoa, I am still in contact with these people and Moumi Ngamaleu because we played together. Even when I try approaching others it’s not easy”

Since 2022, Jean Pierre Ntsame hasn’t been called to the national team, neither has he honored any call up.

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