Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o has made plenty of headlines already this winter, predicting an all-African final for the 2022 World Cup and suggesting that all five African sides will make it out of the group stages.
Now Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) president, the former star striker is keen for African sides to do well, and has high expectations of Cameroon, who are drawn in a group with Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland.
But, he has now published his expected group-stage results, and there are certainly plenty of shocks.
Perhaps the biggest of them all is in Group A, where he expects the Netherlands to be beaten to a qualification spot by hosts Qatar, in what would prove to be a massive upset.
He also suggests that it will be Tunisia, rather than highly-fancied Denmark, that follow France out of group D, while Morocco are tipped to top a group containing European heavyweights Belgium and Croatia, with Luka Modric’s side failing to make it out of the group stages, after reaching the final last time out.
Meanwhile, Cameroon are tipped to beat tournament favourites Brazil to top spot in Group G, while Ghana will see off Uruguay to second spot in group H, seeing five African nations in the last 16 for the first time ever.
It doesn’t stop there, however, with the former Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter Milan striker adding that “Cameroon will win the World Cup final against Morocco.”
Slightly problematic is the fact that the pair are, by Eto’o’s predictions, going to meet well before the final. Should both sides win their respective round of 16 games against Spain and Portugal, they would face each other in the quarter-finals, throwing a spanner in the works of either meeting in the final.
An all-African final would therefore require one of Senegal, Ghana or Tunisia to provide a massive shock on the other side of the draw and knock out tournament heavyweights France, Argentina or Brazil.
He also warned England about the potential pitfalls of facing Qatar, who they would meet in the round of 16 by Eto’o’s predictions.
“We’ve already been able to observe the work accomplished by Qatar in recent years and the way in which the team has gained in maturity”, he explained.“The other national sides are not suspecting Qatar’s qualities, and I think they’ll be able to create a surprise.”