Cameroonian striker Fabrice Olinga, who celebrated his 18th birthday May 12th, will be the youngest player at the World Cup football tournament in Brazil.
Born in Cameroon’s seaport commercial capital of Douala, Olinga developed his skills at the Samuel Eto’o Foundation, established by the country’s four-time African Footballer of the Year.
Eto’o, now 33, was even younger than Olinga – at 17 years and three months – when he played in his first World Cup for Cameroon at the 1998 tournament in France.
Olinga considers Eto’o a hero, describing the elder statesman of The Indomitable Lions of
Cameroon as a legend who has achieved a great deal.
Fabrice Olinga says he’ll be proud to play alongside Samuel Eto’o in Brazil, but it’s doubtful Cameroon’s German coach, Volker Finke, will give him many minutes at football’s premier event. Finke used Olinga as a substitute in Cameroon’s World Cup warm-up matches.
Regardless of his playing time in Brazil, Olinga says he’s “living a dream” by being selected for Cameroon’s World Cup team.
He recently completed his first season for the Belgian club Zulte Waregem, on loan from Spain’s Malaga.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will kick off their World Cup campaign June 13th when they play Mexico in Natal, Brazil.
With host country and five-time world champion Brazil the big favorite in Group A, Cameroon is expected to fight it out with Mexico and Croatia for a berth in the knockout stages.