Former Cameroonian goalkeeper happy with World Cup

Yaounde- Cameroon (PANA) -- Cameroon's former goalkeeper, Joseph- Antoine Bell said Monday that the World Cup 2002 draw made last Saturday was "excellent" for the "Indomitable Lions".
"It was a good draw.
We could not expect better.
Cameroon could even be the top seed in that pool given the teams it will cross swords with", Bell said in an interview published by the private tri-weekly paper, Le Messager.
"We will take on teams that are theoretically within our reach.
Only one of them seems stronger than us given its background", he added, alluding to Germany, whose recent performance shows it is on the decline.
"Some statistics show that Germany is no longer as strong as it used to be.
The team is still driven by the German pride.
In my opinion that team will qualify along with Cameroon", said the former goalkeeper, who once played with the Indomitable Lions in the World Cup.
"We are no longer living in the era when the German players would at least reach the semi-finals even if they were not considered good enough", he argued.
According to Bell, the Saudi team is not a very formidable side even though they have won the Asian Cup of Nations three times and reached the eighth finals during the World Cup 1994 in the US.
Though newspapers have nicknamed Saudi Arabia as the "Brazilians" of Asia, once on the football pitch they do not show the Brazilian wizardry, Joseph-Antoine Bell affirmed.
The former goalkeeper ended his career as a professional player in France after featuring for Bordeaux, Marseilles and Saint Etienne.
Referring to Ireland, which is another first round rival of the Indomitable Lions, Joseph Antoine Bell said, "I don't think that Ireland will be ahead of us".
"They are good players, but we are stronger than they are.
They are imbued with a fighting spirit that we have also always had.
I can't see anything particular to fear about them," he added.
Nonetheless, he urged the Indomitable Lions to be cautious and realistic because in football anything can change within minutes.
Bell, who has settled in Bordeaux, southern France, predicted that Cameroon could reap good results during the forthcoming World cup, unless the team commits some big mistakes.
His prediction is that Cameroon would definitely pass the first round along with Germany and might even reach the quarterfinals because there is no team from Group B, composed of Spain, Slovenia, Paraguay and South Africa, which could hamper the Indomitable Lions progress in the eighth round.

04 december 2001 22:11:00

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